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US Capitol and Library of Congress

Washington DC
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US Capitol and Library of Congress, Washington DC DC

Description

The best time to see the US Capitol is at sunset when the golden light enhances the wedding-cake style dome. The US Marine Band sometimes plays on the west stairs right at this time, so look up their schedule to see if you can combine your visit with one of their concerts. The reflecting pool, on the west side, looks magical at this time of day as well. A long expanse of lawn goes gradually downhill from the Capitol building to the reflecting pool, and many people sit on the wall above the lawn to watch the sunset. Walk around to the front entrance of the Capitol on the east side and you will see more gorgeous sights. The US Capitol building expands far on either side of the dome, in all its neoclassic glory. Large oblong lampposts and a pool add to the elegant effect. Cross the street and you will come to the Library of Congress. Here you can see the Neptune fountain, which is supposed to be like the Trevi fountain in Rome but is not nearly as special. The globe-style lampposts and the ornate building really make you feel like you're in Europe! Walk to the west side of the Library of Congress to enter. 
There are tunnels that connect many government buildings here so you don't have to go through security again. Also, there are cafeterias with good food in some of the buildings. 
For an amazing, free 1.5 hour tour of the US Capitol, reserve ahead on their website. You can reserve as far as three months in advance.
Near the US Capitol is: Newseum, a journalism museum to the northwest; National Gallery of Art, a free museum to the west; and National Air and Space Museum, a free and very crowded museum to the west.

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Photo Gallery

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Library of Congress from a distance.
Library of Congress from a distance.
Neptune fountain at the Library of Congress.
Neptune fountain at the Library of Congress.
The ornate Library of Congress.
The ornate Library of Congress.
Lampposts at the Library of Congress.
Lampposts at the Library of Congress.
Looking toward the Capitol.
Looking toward the Capitol.
Sunset behind the Capitol.
Sunset behind the Capitol.
Lampposts and walkway behind the Capitol.
Lampposts and walkway behind the Capitol.
Gothic lampposts.
Gothic lampposts.
The back of the Capitol.
The back of the Capitol.
Reflection pool behind the Capitol.
Reflection pool behind the Capitol.
The dome.
The dome.
The length of the Capitol.
The length of the Capitol.
Grand columns on the Capitol.
Grand columns on the Capitol.
Lawn and side view of the Capitol.
Lawn and side view of the Capitol.
The paths around the Capitol remind me of Paris.
The paths around the Capitol remind me of Paris.
Looking toward Washington Monument from the Capitol.
Looking toward Washington Monument from the Capitol.
Gathering on the steps of the Capitol to hear the band play.
Gathering on the steps of the Capitol to hear the band play.
Hanging out on the steps of the Capitol.
Hanging out on the steps of the Capitol.
Golden light on the Capitol.
Golden light on the Capitol.
Family vacation to Washington DC!
Family vacation to Washington DC!
Reflecting pool behind the US Capitol.
Reflecting pool behind the US Capitol.
Panorama of the US Capitol.
Panorama of the US Capitol.
View of the front of the Capitol.
View of the front of the Capitol.
Lawn and US Capitol, as seen from outside the National Gallery of Art.
Lawn and US Capitol, as seen from outside the National Gallery of Art.

Directions

The US Capitol is located at on the far east end of the National Mall, at East Capitol Street NE and First Street SE. There are a few parking spaces on the west side by the reflecting pool.

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Last Updated: Fri, 06 Jul 2018 02:11:41 GMT