When visiting Washington, D.C., one of the first things tourists from all over the world cannot wait to see is the United States Capitol building atop Capitol Hill. The United States Capitol building is home to our country’s Congress, which includes your state’s Senators and Representatives. There are so many important decisions that are made within the walls of this portrait of American Neoclassicism, originally designed by William Thornton. When designing the federal city which became Washington, D.C., Pierre L’enfant actually built the city centering the US Capitol.
The US Capitol was actually designed through a competition held by Thomas Jefferson in 1792. The prize for designing the U.S. Capitol we see today was merely $500 cash, and a lot of land within the city. Thornton, the winner of the competition, was actually inspired by both the Louvre in Paris, France, and the Paris Pantheon.
Since it’s building, the U.S. Capitol has been through quite a history, including being partially burned down by The British during the War of 1812, and even undergoing several expansions as the nation grew itself. It’s important to see this monument, which was noted as a Historical Landmark in 1960, when you’re visiting Washington, D.C. to get a good feel for the history of The United States of America.
An easy way to get to the US Capitol is through a locational tour, such as The DC It All, where you can take 6 hours of your day and capture the most amazing sights within the city. This can also help you prioritize your trip plans, when using a sightseeing day tour. Just think of all of the great things you wanted to see and show your family, that you realized you couldn’t at the last minute! It’s a good idea to take a locational sightseeing tour, a guided walk, and even a boat cruise through the Potomac to really take in the city of Washington, D.C. and visit the US Capitol without all of the congressional clearances.