Before visiting the library of Congress on Saturday, we took the Capitol tour. When we visit places like this, I always think of my American History professor at the university of Thessaloniki. (If only all teachers were like him...) (Thank you!)
Unless otherwise stated, I'm quoting (in italics) from the brochure which you can also find here. (I'm getting all formal.)
The Capitol is where Congress meets to write the laws of this nation, and where presidents are inaugurated and deliver their State of the Union messages.
The statue you can see atop the Capitol Dome is the Statue of Freedom (not as famous as the Statue of Liberty, right?).
The original plaster model can be seen at the visitor center.
The Old Supreme Court Chamber
On the canopy suspended 180 feet above the Rotunda floor, the Italian-American artist Constantino Brumidi painted The Apotheosis of Washington.
If you pay close attention, you can see that George Washington is surrounded by Greek and Roman gods. Can you spot Poseidon among the rest? Encountering Greek mythology, history and architecture in so many places in DC is a great feeling.
There are many paintings in the Rotunda. The one that caught my attention, though, was John Chapman's Baptism of Pocahontas.
This painting depicts the ceremony in which Pocahontas, daughter of the influential Algonkian chief Powhatan, was baptized and given the name Rebecca in an Anglican church. It took place in 1613 or 1614 in the colony at Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement on the North American continent. Pocahontas is thought to be the earliest native convert to Christianity in the English colonies; this ceremony and her subsequent marriage to John Rolfe helped to establish peaceful relations between the colonists and the Tidewater tribes. (source)
The Old Hall of the House now serves as National Statuary Hall.
On one side you can see Clio, the muse of history.
The National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol Building is comprised of statues donated by individual states to honor persons notable in their history. The entire collection now consists of 100 statues contributed by 50 states. All 50 states have contributed two statues each. (source)
I think the best way to end this post is with the question a little boy (about 5 years old) asked our guide:
"How many pieces is the Capitol made of?" (Apparently, he's into Legos. :) Cute!)