Capitol

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One of the most important places in Washington DC is the Capitol. This building is one of the most impressive buildings in Washington because its purpose, the function of the building itself, is to house the two branches or sections of Congress. The two branches are the House of Representatives and the Senate. These two houses form the Legislative Branch, and its job is to make laws. This building was built in the capital because it is very important and the other two buildings that house the other two branches are also here.

Text Box: Paintings inside of the Capitol
Text Box: Capitol, symbol of the nation
The architecture of the Capitol is very impressive. It was designed and constructed by six presidents and six architects, starting with Thomas Jefferson. It took 34 years to be completed and it started in 1793 but has been through lots of construction phases. There was a lot of discussion concerning how it would be built based on the neoclassical architecture. It ended being the perfect mix of American and European cultures. Pierre Charle LíEnfant was supposed to design it but he refused in 1792. Washington and Jefferson promised a lot of money to the man that would design the best structure. They ended up accepting DR. William Thorntonís design even though he was a Scottish physician. Other three architects helped Thornton due to his lack of knowledge about constructing. Later on, James Hoban built the north wing but didnít finish it. The north and south wings were completed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. The next architect was Charles Bulfinch that introduced marble as a main part in the construction. By 1850, the building was small for the large quantity of senators and representatives so Thomas Walter had the task to enlarge it and make two other sections of marble instead of sandstone. The dome was finished by Edward Clark who also added the marble terraces. Other architects gave the final touches to the Capitol and it was finished by Edward Clark in 1868. Today it covers a ground area of 175,170 square feet. The dome of the capitol is impressive as well, and it was designed by Constantino Brumidi as a cast iron dome to prevent fires. It has a fresco painting on its top and other paintings around the walls. There is a little statue at its top called the Statue of Freedom, and no building in DC is taller than this.

This structure is important because it is not only the house of the legislative branch but now a day it is also a museum of American History. The Capitol was burned down in the War of 1812 by the British but it wasnít destroyed completely due to rain. Its construction was stopped due to the Civil War because it housed soldiers and it served like a hospital for some time. Jefferson and Washington wanted the Capitol to be ďa meaningful expression of America's new political and social orderĒ.

Text Box: Inside of the dome of the Capitol
When I visited the Capitol, I thought it was one of the most impressive and elegant buildings I have ever seen. What called my attention the most was the architecture and design of the dome. Its structure is impressive because it has a lot of details that make it look fancy. What I found particularly interesting was that in one of the rooms there is a crypt for Washington but he is not buried there because he requested on his will to be buried at Mount Vernon. I also learned about a room that was used for meetings but is not used anymore because it has an eco that loud that you could hear the opponents discussion form the other side of the room, so it didnít give you privacy.  The explanation in the tour was interesting and this made it a great experience in the Capitol.

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