Where blocks of tourists are shuffled through a building incredibly rich in history in about 90 minutes.

A plaster model of the Statue of Freedom that sits atop the Capitol dome can be studied upon in the Visitor Center while queuing. A little known fact is that the final casting and assembly of the statue was overseen by the enslaved Philip Reid, a master craftsman and artisan.

In the center of the rotunda is George Washington’s tomb. Except, he is buried at his home, Mount Vernon.

The Apotheosis of Washington in the Capitol Dome.  I often wonder why such incredible frescoes are painted well out of view. 

The staircase used by the president when he heads to Congress to give the State of the Union address.

From the National Statuary Hall. MLK Jr.’s statue is unfinished because his work in life went unfinished. Rosa Parks statue was added at the centenary of her birth. The suffragette statue was unveiled six months after the 19th amendment was ratified…and the following day the “Women in the Bathtub” was shuffled into a broom closet, where it sat for 75 years before being dusted off and put back into the hall.

This is the first of eight paintings commissioned for the rotunda, and arguably the most famous. It is the original Brexit, the Declaration of Independence.

Our tour ended with the guide noting that once upon a time state representatives all had desks in the hall; and rather coincidentally I glanced at the floor to see the spot where Andrew Johnson, one of Tennessee’s three presidents, sat.