US Capitol - US Capitol information and pictures
The imposing, United States Capitol building
, located on a hill on the eastern end of the Mall, has been dominating this capital city, with its massive dome, white marble exterior, and neoclassical architecture, since its completion in 1829, by Boston architect, Charles Bulfinch. The U.S. Capitol, home to the United States Congress, has undergone many changes, additions and a major reconstruction after the British attack in 1814. Over the course of two hundred years, many different architects have contributed to the design and construction of the Capitol as it stands today.
The parade of notable architects that worked on the Capitol include, Pierre Charles L'Enfant, William Thornton, James Hoban (architect of the White House
), Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Charles Bulfinch, Thomas U. Walter, and Frederick Law Olmsted. Despite the architectural, patchwork construction, the Capitol appears true to its original, neoclassical design, using elements of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The original design of a domed central building with north and south wings, remains today, albeit, on a grander scale.
The north wing of the Capitol houses the U.S. Senate, with the House of Representatives, meeting in the south wing. The U.S. Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and Botanic Garden, also make up the Capitol complex, with a newly constructed, underground visitors center.
Italian Frescoes, Statues and a Cast Iron Dome
- The late 1800s was a productive period for the construction and adornment of the Capitol. A new, magnificent, cast iron dome was completed in 1863, and crowned with a 19-foot, 6-inch bronze “Statue of Freedom” designed by artist, Thomas Crawford, depicting a female, helmeted figure, holding a sword and laurel wreath of victory. Italian artist, Constantino Brumidi, decorated the interior of the Capitol with murals and frescoes, during the last twenty-five years of his life, with, the crowning glory of “The Apotheosis of George Washington”, stunning, three-dimensional frescoes, depicting George Washington in the canopy of the Capitol Rotunda.
The West corridor particularly, is adorned with hundreds of Brumidi’s frescoes, now named the, "Brumidi Corridor”. The National Statuary Hall, located in a Greek amphitheater, style hall that was the old meeting place of Congress, now houses, 38 historic statues, and marble, Corinthian columns that are the most popular tourist site in the Capitol.
Where is the US Capitol: Capitol Hill - east end of the National Mall opposite the Washington Monument
How to get to the US Capitol: Subway to Capitol South Station on the blue, orange lines
Guided tours are available at the US Capitol for more information visit the US Capitol official web site.
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