Francine In Retirement
Seeing Life Through Photography


United States Capital

The Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama will be held in Washington DC on Monday, January 21, 2013.  A week of festivities will include the Presidential Swearing-in Ceremony, Inaugural Address, Inaugural Parade and numerous inaugural balls and galas honoring the elected President of the United States.

The official theme for the 2013 inauguration is “Faith in America’s Future,” commemorating the United States’ perseverance and unity, marking the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol Dome in 1863. 

In honor of this historical event, I thought I would share some photos of my trip to the Capitol (back in April) in response to Flickr Comments tagged “C” challenge hosted by FrizzText.  Visit his site in the above link for other entries.

Capitol Visitor Center 

Capital Visitors Center

The first stop on a tour is The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center which provides a welcoming and educational environment for visitors to learn about the unique characteristics of the House and the Senate and the legislative process as well as the history and development of the architecture and art of the U.S. Capitol. 

Capitol Rotunda

The Capitol Rotunda is a large, domed, circular room located 96 feet in diameter and 180 feet in height located in the center of the U.S. Capitol on the second floor. The Rotunda is used for important ceremonial events as authorized by concurrent resolution, such as the lying in state of eminent citizens and the dedication of works of art. The Rotunda canopy features the painting entitled The Apotheosis of Washington, and the walls of the Rotunda hold historic paintings and a frescoed band, or “frieze,” depicting significant events in American history.

Capital Rotunda

The Frieze of American History 

 The Frieze of American History in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol contains a painted panorama depicting significant events in American history. The frieze’s 19 scenes is the work of three artists: Constantino Brumidi, Filippo Constaggini and Allyn Cox. The frieze is painted in grisaille, a monochrome of whites and browns that resembles sculpture. It measures 8 feet 4 inches in height and approximately 300 feet in circumference. It starts 58 feet above the floor. 

Apotheosis of Washington

Apotheosis of Washington

Painted in 1865 by Constantino Brumidi, the Apotheosis of Washington in the eye of the Capitol Rotunda depicts George Washington rising to the heavens in glory, flanked by female figures representing Liberty and Victory/Fame and surrounded by six groups of figures. The fresco is suspended 180 feet above the Rotunda floor and covers an area of 4,664 square feet.

Car of History Clock

Car of History Clock

This marble sculpture, created in 1819, is among the oldest works of art in the U.S. Capitol. It depicts Clio, the muse of History, holding a book in which she records events as they unfold.

National Statuary Hall

National Statuary Hall

National Statuary Hall

National Statuary Hall

National Statuary Hall

National Statuary Hall, also known as the Old Hall of the House, is the large, two-story, semicircular room south of the Rotunda. This historic space was the meeting place of the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 50 years (1807-1857), and now serves as the main exhibition space for the National Statuary Hall Collection.  Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol is also the area for the traditional Inaugural luncheon, hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC).

Old Senate Chamber

Old Senate Chambers

Old Senate Chambers

Located north of the Capitol Rotunda is the richly decorated Old Senate Chamber. Designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, this room was home to the U.S. Senate from 1819 until 1859 and later to the U.S. Supreme Court from 1860-1935. Today the restored Chamber is used primarily as a museum, recreating the scene of many significant moments in the evolution of the United States Senate and the legislative history of the nation.

Statue of Freedom 

Statue of Freedom

Statue of Freedom

The bronze Statue of Freedom by Thomas Crawford is the crowning feature of the dome of the United States Capitol. The bronze statue stands 19 feet 6 inches tall and weighs approximately 15,000 pounds.

The statue is a classical female figure of Freedom wearing flowing draperies. Her right hand rests upon the hilt of a sheathed sword; her left holds a laurel wreath of victory and the shield of the United States with 13 stripes. Her helmet is encircled by stars and features a crest composed of an eagle’s head, feathers, and talons, a reference to the costume of Native Americans. A brooch inscribed “U.S.” secures her fringed robes. She stands on a cast-iron globe encircled with the words E Pluribus Unum, the national motto at the time of her placement atop the dome.  

“E pluribus unum” is Latin; it means “Out of Many One” and refers to the idea that the United States is made up of individual states and populated by individual citizens, but we come together as a single country. It is on most US coins.

United States Capital

I hope you enjoyed my trip to the Capital.  Thank you for taking time to read this post.  I appreciate your visit.

Information taken from the following sites.

United States Capital Building

Inauguration 2013




  1. I did very much enjoy your trip to the Capital, Francine. Your photography was brilliant. I especially like the photo of the Stature of Freedom backlit by the Full Moon. This was a wonderful post. Thank you.

  2. thank you for your Capitol gallery – and for the Obama inauguration, January 21, I’m longing for to hear there Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder etc.!

  3. so very grand, fitting for a great nation … thanks for showing us the capitol francine 🙂

  4. great photos!

  5. It has been over 20 years since I’ve been inside. Thanks for the memories.

  6. Fabulous set of pictures and thanks for the share,,it must have be a great visit..;)

  7. Here I lived in Manassas for 5 years and never went to DC…..Thank you Francine….I feel like I have been there now…..I especially love the silloutte picture in front of the moon….beautiful.

    • I am glad you enjoyed this post. That photo was taken from a slideshow presentation we were given explaining about the history of the Capital. I was in the front row and had a perfect view of this slide and took this picture.

  8. For a second, I thought you were going to be in Washington for the inauguration, so I was prepared to be jealous. haha. Great photos, Francine. Love the one of King Kamehameha. Thank you for this tour. It makes me realize that I need to take the kids to the Capitol.
    I love the image and information about the Statue of Freedom. “Out of Many One” seems like a good theme for this year, don’t you think?

  9. These are all gorgeous photographs. We just took pictures of the facade, I don’t think they were allowing people to go in when we were there, or we had to book ahead of time, and we weren’t able to do that. Nice to see the inside though through your photographs. 🙂

  10. So sad that I have never been here. But through you I can see the beauty and some of the history. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!!!

  11. […] Capital Building of the United States by Francine in Retirement […]

  12. A beautiful tour and history lesson. Thank you.

  13. Beautiful building, but I bet all the heat goes up into the dome and the rest of the place is freezing cold – I wouldn’t want to have to pay the heating bill.

  14. What a wonderful post. This is perfect as I’m planning to hopefully visit Washington DC this year!

  15. The Statue of Freedom; thank you. I’ve always wanted to know the name of that piece ever since I was small. I couldn’t find anyone that would tell me.

  16. Although I am in my pjs, getting ready for bed & listening to ice crystals hit the window, I just toured the nation’s capital!
    Thanks to your wonderful tour, Francine. That would be so cool to go to the Inaugural.

  17. Have fun francine, the photos are awesome.:) I was there last year of March and such a great experienced for me.:)

    Thanks for sharing,

  18. I lived in DC 40 years ago, and loved every minute…thanks for taking me back.

  19. Beautiful images with an amazing history!

  20. Thanks for the tour Francine. Hope to see this in person someday!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: