The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., is a symbol of the American people and their government, the meeting place of the nation's legislature. The Capitol also houses an important collection of American art, and is an architectural achievement in its own right. It is a working office building as well as a tourist attraction visited by millions every year.
Construction of the U.S. Capitol began in 1793. In November 1800, the U.S. Congress met in the first completed portion, the north wing. In the 1850s, major extensions to the North and South ends of the Capitol were authorized because of the great westward expansion of our nation and the resultant growth of Congress. Since that time, the U.S. Capitol and its stately dome have become international symbols of our representative democracy.
The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center is the newest addition to this historic complex. At nearly 580,000 square feet, the Visitor Center is the largest project in the Capitol's more than two-century history and is approximately three quarters the size of the Capitol itself. The entire facility is located underground on the east side of the Capitol so as not to detract from the appearance of the Capitol and the grounds designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1874.
I am not planning any tours for this visit, but for anyone who wants to do so, you can go to the site and get tickets. The Exhibition/Visitors' Center has more than enough to keep you busy for many hours. The Visitors' Center opens at 8:30 am, so you can go as early as you'd like, or wander around downtown for a bit and then come inside for the afternoon.
Safety & Security
Before entering the Capitol Visitor Center, all visitors are
screened by a magnetometer and all items that are permitted
inside the building are screened by an x-ray device.
The following items are strictly prohibited:
• Any bag larger than 14” wide x 13” high x 4” deep
• Aerosol containers
• Any pointed object (knitting needles, letter openers, etc.
Note: pens and pencils are permitted.)
• Cans and bottles
• Electric stun guns, martial arts weapons or devices
• Food or beverages of any kind (The restaurant is available
to satisfy your dining needs.)
• Guns, replica guns, ammunition, and fireworks
• Knives of any size
• Mace and pepper spray
• Non-aerosol spray (Prescriptions for medical needs
• Razors and box cutters
Please note that recognizable photos are required as a main profile pic to participate in any events. If yours is too far away, with other people, you're wearing sunglasses, etc., please replace your picture with one we could use to find you if we had to. Thanks.