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Washington DC Photo Gallery United States Capitol Tour

United States Capitol Tour

The United States Capitol serves as the seat of government for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government.

The cast-iron dome of the United States Capitol, constructed between 1855 and 1866, may well be the most famous man-made landmark in America. It is such a fitting finale for the building it crowns, so familiar and dignified, that it seems surprising that its design and construction came late in the Capitol's architectural evolution. Only the marble west front terraces (1884-1892) and the east front extension (1958-1962) are more recent additions to the Capitol than its dome.

As the Capitol Complex has been expanded, new buildings have reflected the taste and values of their time, offering the latest amenities available while retaining a connection to the Capitol's neoclassical forms.

The United States Capitol is open for visitation Monday through Saturday through much of the year, including Federal holidays. Entry into the Capitol can be obtained by procuring passes for a public guided tour at a kiosk on the southwest corner of the grounds, or via reserved tours arranged through your Senator's or Representative's office.

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US Capitol Tours - Ticket Distribution *

Timed entry passes are issued first-come, first-served Monday - Saturday beginning at 9:am. Call (202) 225-6827 for more information

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US Capitol Tours - Entrance Checkpoint

Visitors to the US Capitol building enter through this initial checkpoint tent

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US Capitol Tours - Excited Visitors *

Patriots visiting from all over the country wait patiently for the tour to begin

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US Capitol Tours - Be Prepared To Wait

Cattle herding techniques are used to make longer lines appear shorter

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U.S. Capitol Tour - West Front Patio

The tour begins viewing the front of the building by crossing the west front patio

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U.S. Capitol Tour - Upper Approach

Built in the American Neoclassicism architectural style, the U.S. Capitol construction began in 1793

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U.S. Capitol Building - Flags & Dome *

Flown every day since World War I, up to four U.S. flags can be seen flying over the U.S Capitol building

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US Capitol Dome - Statue of Freedom

Thomas Crawford's bronze masterpiece Statue of Freedom stands proud on top of the dome's tholus

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US Capitol - Jenkins Hill or Capitol Hill?

The location chosen for the Capitol building was Jenkins Hill, which later became known as Capitol Hill

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US Capitol Steps - Pennsylvania Avenue

The Old Post Office Pavilion and clock tower was completed in 1899

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US Capitol Steps - A Monumental View

Another busy day on "The Mall" of our nation's capitol as seen from the top step of the U.S. Capitol building

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US Capitol - Rotunda Relief - Cortez and Montezuma

Hernando Cortez, conqueror of Mexico, enters the Aztec temple in 1519, and is welcomed by Emperor Montezuma The Second

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US Capitol - Rotunda Relief - The Wright Brothers

The first flight at Kitty Hawk with Orville Wright in the Flyer and Wilbur running alongside to steady the wing

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US Capitol - Discovery of the Mississippi

Spanish conqueror and explorer Hernando DeSoto, riding a white horse, was the first European to view the Mississippi River, in 1541

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US Capitol - Embarkation of the Pilgrims

To the left side of the painting is a rainbow, which symbolizes hope and divine protection

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