Minggu, 04 Juni 2017

Making The Most Of Your US Capitol Tour

By Brian Morris

Washington, D. C. Is the center of political power in the United States and a place steeped in history and tradition. The architecture is striking, often evoking ancient civilizations and cultures. Tourists generally make Pennsylvania Avenue the first stop when they visit. Most make sure to visit George Washington's monument and Abraham Lincoln's memorial. For those interested in a place where all of these elements coincide, taking a US Capitol tour is a must.

Although these are the people's buildings, you should not expect to walk up the stairs of the house of Congress and be allowed to wander around on your own. You have to sign up for one of their guided tours that are conducted most days during normal business hours. The best idea is to plan in advance so you don't have to wait at the visitor center for an opening in a scheduled tours to become available.

One of the tours will take you into the first floor and the Crypt. This section of this building has forty Doric columns that originally helped support the Rotunda above it. You will be able to see a replica of England's Magna Carta here. There also thirteen statutes from the National Statuary Hall collection that represent the original thirteen colonies.

You can't tour this building without spending time in the Rotunda. It is extremely impressive with all the works of art adorning the walls, and the friezes overhead that depict historical events in our nation's history. The Rotunda will probably look familiar even if you have never actually been there before. This is where Presidents and other dignitaries have lain in state.

National Statuary Hall is located between the Rotunda and the House wing. In this area you will be able to view a collection of thirty-five figures who represent notable historical figures. Each one was contributed by one of the fifty states. There are hundred statues in all, two to represent each state, but they are no longer all housed in Statuary Hall. There are the thirteen mentioned in the Crypt. The others are on display in various sections of the legislative building.

Guests are encouraged to tour Exhibition Hall while they are in the vicinity. It is a wonderful way to teach children of all ages more about the history of the United States and how the Founding Fathers developed the three branches of governments with their system of checks and balances. Touring the grounds is a treat for those interested in horticulture and landscaping.

Visiting such an important place requires a certain amount of respect and courtesy. There is no formal dress code, but visitors are expected to dress appropriately for the surroundings. No food or drink is allowed in the building, and cell phones should be silenced.

A visit to the nation's capital is an exciting way to spend a vacation or long weekend. You will have to plan ahead to take advantage of all it has to offer. Most return to see interesting buildings they missed the first time.

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