On Saturday I had to be down in DC early to meet a group, we were going for a tour of The Capitol, somewhere I've often wanted to visit. It was a muggy grey day with rain threatening to fall so being indoors seemed an ideal solution for the day. We all met and then lined up waiting for our tour to start.
We next entered the Rotunda where we saw more statues. Around 1859 Congress invited each state to contribute 2 statues of its most notable citizens, and these are now displayed in various rooms of the Capitol. This room is now a ceremonial area where state funerals since Lincoln have been held. Special visitors are also received here.
quickly, click here.
Our guide attempted to demonstrate the acoustic qualities of the hall by walking away from us and then quietly talking to us with her mouth covered. None in our group, apart from one, could hear her, but then there were hundreds of other bodies crammed into the hall also.
In less than an hour our tour was complete. It is an amazingly beautiful building but with so many people and being rushed at such speed with so many limitations on what we could see, I retained very little information from the tour and had to rely heavily on this excellent website, click here.
There is also a superb exhibition in the visitors' center. I had seen some beautiful tiles in the exhibition from England, but there were in a part of the building we weren't allowed in. Basically it's just the Rotunda and the National Statuary Hall that visitors get to see. But I fervently wish we had been allowed more time and freedom to view these spectacular places in more detail. There was so much that I missed. They have got the tour process down to a fine art, meticulously planned, but it would have been more enjoyable if we could have had a little more time to actually let the wonder of this place sink in, instead of standing at the end bewildered and wondering, 'Is that it?'
I will obviously have to return another day.
The website is here. It was an incredible exhibition and I spent a couple of hours in there, watching the ballet performances and admiring the many costumes on display. It was hard not being allowed to photograph anything but understandable; a soft light glowed throughout, protecting the exhibits.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec fan, fascinated with the Moulin Rouge era.There are quite a few od his paintings here.
I also love the Baroque style. Until Impressionism, most art showed biblical or mythical characters, portraits or still life, and many of these early paintings were stunning.
I could have easily spent another 24 hours in this building but not wanting to deal with heavy late afternoon traffic I walked back to the car and managed to escape DC hassle free and with my own gallery of favorites captured on my camera.