Located across the street from the Capitol building, the Library of Congress was established in 1800, serving as its namesake, as it has a huge collection of books, along with other important media, like film. Closest Metro stop is Capitol South, and it can be accessed from an underground tunnel, which is connected to the United States Capitol Visitor Center.
The Library of Congress actually consists of 3 separate buildings, all of which are named after Presidents. They would be Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John Adams. This review will just focus on the Thomas Jefferson Building, as it is the only one that is really open to visitors.
Entering inside the building, starting at the Great Hall, which is enough to check out in itself. Almost like some church or palace building in Europe, there is just amazing artwork to see around the place. Like the ceiling and the mezzanine areas, with "The Virtues" and more. Also, there are displays of the Gutenberg and Mainz Bibles, along with the Minerva Mosaic.
The main highlight was overlooking the Main Reading Room, which has nice artwork around in it as well. This can only be seen on a walkthrough, on a deck above it. You cannot enter the room itself, unless you have a user card with photo ID. Also, if you have seen the movie "National Treasure: Book of Secrets", then this room may look familiar to you.
There are some exhibitions that may be worth checking out. Not sure if they are permanent or temporary, like "Exploring the Early Americas".
Also, there is a display of Thomas Jefferson's library, with most of the books having a different color ribbon in them. The green ones were in his very original books. Not recalling the other ones. But these were donated after the War of 1812, when the city was burned down. And with it, the books were lost.
Between the amazing artwork around the Great Hall, the display of Jefferson's library, and seeing the Main Reading Room, those are enough reason to check this place out. Also, there are additional exhibitions that may be worth a look as well. And admission is free!
Combined with a visit to the US Capitol, this place is definitely worth it, especially when the weather outside is not so nice!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.