Capitol Hill Washington DC, A stunning building with a fascinating history

Everything that’s important happens here. This is the home of the United States Senate, House of Representatives and Supreme Court. It’s the heart of American democracy and a must-see on your Washington D.C. Bus Tour. You’ll also find the Library of Congress and Washington D.C.’s Botanic Garden at Capitol Hill.

It wasn’t always as grand as this. By 1850 it was clear that the Capitol just wasn’t big enough for all the newly admitted states. So the building was expanded. People then thought that the old dome was too small for the new building, so in 1855 it had to go. The new dome is 3 times the height of the original.

Get the facts

If you’d like to know a little more about how the wheels of politics turn, make sure to visit Exhibition Hall. You’ll see original documents and artifacts, videos, interactive models and two theater exhibitions. You’ll get an in-depth insight to how Congress works, and the history of the Capitol and Congress.

Designed for visitors

Security may be tight here but the Capitol welcomes visitors. The Capitol Visitor Center is a modern addition to the building that has been designed to make it easy for everyone to access it. The new underground space here has an entrance hall, exhibitions hall, visitors’ theater and a café.

Other interesting facts about Capitol Hill

  • The dome is 88 feet (26.8 meters) high and 96 feet (29.2 meters) in diameter
  • 11 former presidents have lain in state here, as did civil rights activist Rosa Parks
  • Every newly-elected President is inaugurated here