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The Capitol is one of the most widely recognized buildings in the world. It is a symbol of the American people and their government, the meeting place of the nation's legislature, an art and history museum, and a tourist attraction visited by millions every year.

Touring and Visiting the Capitol

Learn more about getting around the Capitol, watching Congress in session, and security procedures.

Architect of the Capitol Home Page (

Capitol Visitor Center Web Page (

Map of Capitol Grounds (

Capitol History

Read essays on the history of the Capitol, including some dramatic moments, written by the Senate Historical Office.

Capitol Cornerstone Dedicated, July 4, 1851

Capitol Gas Explosion, November 6, 1898

Bomb Rocks Capitol, July 2, 1915

Capitol Besieged [The Great Depression], June 17, 1932

Historic Meeting Places of the Senate

The current Capitol building is not the only place in which the Senate has convened. These essays written by the Senate Historical Office will tell you more.

Meeting Places and Quarters

Senate Moves to Washington, November 17, 1800

Senate Convenes in Emergency Quarters, September 19, 1814

Historic Spaces

Read about the historic rooms and spaces in the Capitol.

Brumidi Corridors (PDF)

Foreign Relations Committee Room (PDF)

Lyndon Baines Johnson Room (PDF)

      The Senate's Taj Mahal, June 25, 1964

Old Supreme Court Chamber (

President's Room (PDF)

Rotunda (

Senate Vestibule (PDF)

Vice President's Room (PDF)

Art and the Capitol

The works of art in the Capitol complex reflect the development of the United States and Congress. They range from bronze and marble statues to oil portraits and frescoed murals. Take a look at the Senate Art and History web page for more information about art in the Senate.

Exterior and Grounds of the U.S. Capitol (engraving)

Minton Tile (

Ceremonies in the Capitol

The Capitol is considered the most suitable place for the nation to pay final tribute to eminent citizens by having their remains lie in state or in honor.

Those Who Have Lain in State or in Honor in the U.S. Capitol (

The Catafalque (

Henry Clay Dies, June 29, 1852

Books on the Capitol

Find out more about the Capitol by perusing bibliographies or by linking to books on the Government Publishing Office website. (GPO)

Capitol:  Art and Architecture (bibliography; PDF)

Capitol Hill in Fiction (bibliography; PDF)

Capitol Builder:  The Shorthand Journals of Montgomery Meigs (GPO-govInfo)

Constantino Brumidi:  Artist of the Capitol (GPO-govInfo)

History of the United States Capitol (GPO-govInfo)

To Make Beautiful the Capitol: Rediscovering the Art of Constantino Brumidi (GPO-govInfo)

Related Items

Interested in related materials? Take a look at these Virtual Reference Desk subjects for more information.

Art in the Senate

Senate Chamber

Senate Office Buildings

Washington, DC