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US Capitol

US Capitol, Washington DC © Matt H. Wade
US Capitol, Washington DC © Matt H. Wade

Situated on the top of Capitol Hill, with its giant white dome visible from all over the city, is the US Capitol, the heart of US government and Washington DC's most prominent landmark. It is one of the city's top tourist attractions, as well as one of the most recognised symbols of democracy in the world, and contains the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress, the largest library in the world. Under the magnificent dome, US governmental policy is shaped and the law of the land is practiced.

The interior is richly embellished, with hundreds of statues filling Statuary Hall in honour of important people in the country's history, while paintings and murals decorate the hallways and walls of the Rotunda, depicting 400 years of American history. The enormous circular hall capped by the 180-foot (55m) high dome is the hub of the Capitol, with a symbolic fresco masterpiece at its centre. The Rotunda links the north and south wings, the two halves of the Capitol that contain the Senate and House of Representatives respectively, and flags flying over either wing indicate which part of Congress is in session.

Address: East Capitol Street NE & First Street SE

Website: www.visitthecapitol.gov

Telephone: (202) 226 8000

Transport: Union Station Metro, Federal Center NW or Capitol South stations are all within walking distance

Opening times: The Capitol Visitor Center is open to visitors from 8.30am-4.30pm.

Admission: Free.