United States Capitol in Washington (USA) - meeting place of the U.S. Congress
Location show on map
Washington, D.C., USA
Date of build
1793 - 1824
The meeting place of the Congress of the United States, as well as meetings of government representatives and the Senate.
The first dome to house the order has a long history. Since George Washington laid the cornerstone in 1793, the Capitol has been built, torn down, rebuilt, enlarged and rebuilt again.
When the building was completed in 1824 by Charles Bulfinch, it was then very susceptible to fires and needed constant reconstruction. In 1855, architect Thomas U. Walter was given the task of replacing the old dome with a new, larger and fire-resistant dome. The stronger structure required a lot of materials, so Walter designed a double dome - a smaller dome inside a larger one - which creates the illusion of height.
The larger dome is very thin and supported by 36 steel ribs. Below it is a smaller dome with an opening roof. Although the structure looks like it is made of stone, most of the Capitol is made of cast iron.
The building was finally completed in December 1863 and still stands today serving as a symbol of America's democracy.
The original design of the Capitol Building was drawn by Dr. William Thornton, while the current dome was designed by Thomas U. Walter, in total there were 11 Capitol Hill architects who contributed to the building.
The bronze Statue of Liberty, located at the top of the dome, is a distinctive feature of the Capitol, standing nearly 6 metres tall and weighing about 6,800 kilograms.
Building began in 1793, but was not completed until almost twenty years later. Then, in a Masonic ceremony, President Washington laid the cornerstone at the southeast corner of the building on September 18, 1793.
The Senate began meeting at the Capitol in 1800, when the Senate wing was completed.
On 24 August 1814, British troops set fire to the building during the war, fortunately a rainstorm prevented it from being completely destroyed.
Rebuilding began in 1815 and included the redesign of rooms on both the Senate wings and the newly built side, which were completed by 1819.
Building continued until 1826, adding a central section with a front staircase and columned portico, as well as an internal Rotunda rising above the first low dome of the Capitol.
On the ground floor is an area known as the Crypt. It was thought to be the burial place of George Washington, with a ringed balustrade in the centre of the Rotunda. However, according to the provisions of his last will and testament, Washington was buried at Mount Vernon. The crypt contains exhibits on the history of the Capitol.
Underground tunnels and a private underground connect the main Capitol building to each of the Congressional office buildings in the surrounding complex.
The Capitol currently covers 16,275 square meters (1.6 hectares) and has a floor area of 67,000 square meters (6.7 hectares).
The length of the building is 229 metres (from north to south), the width reaches 107 metres.
The height to the top of the statue is 88 metres.
The building includes an approximate number of 540 rooms and has 850 doors and 658 windows, including 108 in the dome itself.
There were 8,909,200 pounds of steel used in the construction of the building.
Official website: http://www.visitthecapitol.gov