The Legislative Branch of Government

Trip Start Jul 08, 2011
Trip End May 26, 2012

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Where I stayed
400 15th Street South
What I did
Visited throughout the Mall area of the District

Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Friday, September 2, 2011

Although I dated this entry for the 2nd, the pictures and experiences actually occurred on Saturday the 3rd. Please see the reasons on "The price of freedom" chaper of this blog.

The nation's Capitol, the seat of the Legislative branch of our government, the building the holds the Senate and the House of Representatives. A historic building, a building that was build early in our nation's history, a building that was burned by the British in 1814, and rebuilt throughout the American Civil War, as Lincoln believed that the continued construction of the Capitol dome would convince the American people that the nation would endure. As it did on both accounts.

The Capitol is a beautiful white building that dominates the eastern end of the Mall. It is topped by the statue of Freedom, added in 1866. This building was built on Jenkins Hill and is 88 feet above the level of the Potomac river. As a side note, the Statue of Liberty, atop the Capitol, faces east, rather than west over the heartland of the nation. The statue faces east because the original main front faced east as that was the most efficient level land approach to the building.

Coming to Washington one should get with their Senator or Representative and request free tickets for the tour. Others can receive tickets in the visitor center, but only a limited number are available. After a short movie the tour begins with a knowledgeable guide, in the Rotunda, centered directly below the Capitol dome. The guide will discuss the architecture and art of the Capitol, then escort you to the Old Chamber for the Representatives, where the statue Liberty and the Eagle overlooks the chamber. Check out my photo. Next you are escorted to the Statuary Hall, where a number of statues honoring great Americans stand, each donated by individual States of this United States. Finally each group is taking into the Crypt, where it was originally thought that General George and Martha Washington were to be entombed. Well they did not make it to the tomb in the Capitol, they are still laid to rest at Mount Vernon.

Of all the art that is on public display I was most impressed with Burmidi's "The Apotheosis of Washington" directly up in the center of the dome, when view from the Rotunda interior.
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