I’d pre-booked a tour of the US Capitol Building a few weeks before we travelled to Washington, DC. It’s one of those buildings that’s instantly recognisable, probably because of its similarity to the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral … and seven series of West Wing.The tours are free and last around an hour, maybe a little less. I would say that pre-booking is essential. We were amused to discover that our guide was British and originally from Newport Pagnell. The rotunda is stunning, there’s no other word for it. It’s a whopping 180ft from floor to ceiling and is 96ft across. The fresco, The Apotheosis of George Washington, was completed in 1865.The tour also takes in the rather odd Statuary Hall. Statues of the good, the bad and the ugly have been sculpted by artists from every state (and from a questionable talent pool) and there doesn’t to be any rhyme or reason to their placement. The space is certainly a talking point.
Before leaving, we also took in the exhibition E Pluribus Unum – Out of many, One, which tells the story of Congress (the bit that makes America’s laws). It’s targeted at school age children, so perfect for non-Americans to obtain a clearer picture of how things should work in the US government.