Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
From the elevated site that Pierre L'Enfant (for further details see Layout
and Design ) described as “a pedestal waiting for a monument,” the dignified
Capitol has stood unwavering as the symbol of American democracy
throughout its 200-year history. From the legislative session called by Pres-
ident Jefferson in 1803 to approve the Louisiana Purchase through to the
House of Representatives' vote in 1998 to impeach President Clinton, these
halls have witnessed an often rough-and-tumble democratic process. The
Capitol's frescoes and art collection qualify it as a notable museum, but its
millions of tourists come, above all, to brush shoulders with history, both re-
membered and in the making. National Mall, between 1st and 3rd Sts and
Independence and Constitution Aves, SW • 202 226 8000 • • Open 8:30am-4:30pm Mon-Sat • Free (pass
required for tours)
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The central dome defines the city for people worldwide. It was added, with the Statue
of Freedom , between 1855 and 1866.
America's first president ascends into the heavens in this 4,664-sq ft (430-sq m)
fresco The Apotheosis of Washington , lining the interior of the dome.
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A semicircle of 100 desks faces the dais in this eminent assembly room. Democrats
sit to the right, Republicans to the left.
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