Washington, DC: Capitol Building & Botanic Gardens

Is that the Capitol Building? Oh let’s do pay a visit. We are, after all, in the nation’s capital; it’s only appropriate we see where legislation is passed, and where transformative history has been made.

The U.S. Capitol is currently undergoing restoration, but it’s still functional for both official government use and public visits. After all, the building has withstood much more: it has been burned, reconstructed, restored, and expanded; and it remains standing proud, staunchly representing the country it serves. Besides, a little scaffolding doesn’t entirely attract from its aesthetics.

 

IMG_2104

 

Inside, more restoration is underway. The sheer weight of this dome necessitates diligent, continuous conservation efforts for both the dome and the structural support beneath it.

 

 

Beneath the dome is, surprise, more scaffolding due to conservation. I’ll have to bring you back another day to more closely inspect the historical depictions in those paintings.

 

IMG_2193

 

Is there anything unobstructed by scaffolding? Yes, of course! Here’s a dome with a chandelier that’s not from the Titanic, as many observers often think.

 

IMG_2190

 

You’ll pass it on the way to the former Hall of Congress. And when I say former, I mean it was used in the early 1800s, during which time the hall was frequented by the likes of Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams. The rotunda of the National Statuary Hall, as it’s called today, is also a (less commonly known) whispering gallery. By happy accident, you can hear whispers and murmurs from across room…which probably wasn’t ideal for political talks.  ;)

 

 

Speaking of history, here are the chambers where deliberations occurred over such hot topics as the Dred Scott case and the Bill of Rights.

 

 

As in many government buildings, security precautions are prevalent, public access is limited, and cameras are prohibited in certain areas. So let’s relocate down the street to a botanical garden where we can freely roam and take photographs – the United States Botanic Garden. Inside this greenhouse, you can walk through sliding doors from Hawaii, to the Mediterranean, to the desert, to a collection of rare and endangered plants.

 

 

DC is a very walkable city, so where should we stroll to next? The National Mall? The Air and Space Museum? Ooh, the Library of Congress is practically across the street….