What a morning! We awoke to SNOW! Here is the view from our hotel window:
Will took the following video! (Click on video below.)
As we began our adventure (to arrive at The Capitol on time for our pre-arranged tour at 10:20), I was able to take more photos of the inclement weather…
The Capitol Building is enormous – it houses both the Senate (to seat 100 senators) and the House of Representatives (which holds 435 Representatives), each in a separate wing. We waited patiently for our tour:
These photos were taken in the huge downstairs “Emancipation Hall” (commemorating the work done by slaves here in the late 1700’s), and the following photo is looking UP into a glass skylight, unfortunately covered with SNOW. Normally, one could see the immense dome through the glass.
We began the tour by watching a very informative 15-minute video (in a huge theatre), then we proceeded to the beautiful dome … with the area below where presidents’ coffins (and those of other important individuals) “lie in state”. (Most recently, it was John McCain’s coffin which lay here.)
Below is a video of the stunning dome and its artwork. (Click below to see the video.)
If you look carefully below (at a close-up of the dome high above), you’ll see George Washington (with draping over his knees), sitting between two angels. Opposite his head is a banner saying “E Pluribus Unum” (out of many, one), there are 13 figures in a circle, representing the original 13 colonies.
The frescoes which encircle the dome are stunning!
There are also huge paintings adorning the walls and depicting scenes from American historical moments. (Notice the red/white/blue rainbow in one!)
There are also huge statues (either bronze or stone) throughout the Capitol. Each state can display two statues (at a time), and they are changed periodically…as new ones are given as gifts from each state. Below is Ronald Reagan on the left and Martin Luther King on the right.)
In the center of the dome (when there is no viewing and Congress is in session) is a roped off “path” for congressmen, senators, interns, etc., to use as they pass from one chamber to the other.
We then viewed several rooms, passed by The Speaker of the House’s office, and viewed, yes, more statues! (You will also see a column with corn cobs on the top.)
The last main room we saw was the original Supreme Court area (prior to the building of the Supreme Court Building in 1935).
Our guide was hilarious and added many a humorous story as she led us around.
We ended our tour at the Gift Shop (of course), where only totally American products are made. Our guide mentioned that no umbrellas are sold there, because no one has ever created a TOTALLY American-made umbrella. Good idea for someone to invent! (And, many would have been sold today….)
Our tour of the Capitol is over….We now must find out if our flight to NYC will take off today. The East Coast is experiencing huge snow storms today…. Never a dull moment for us!
Stay tuned for more…