Categories: Washington DC

United States Capitol & Library of Congress : Washington DC

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You got to hand it to the Americans, they know how to build structures to house their governments. Serving as the meeting place of US congress – the American federal legislature – and located on top of Capitol Hill overlooking a grand "national mall", is the United States Capitol.

Having grown up in little no-where capital city – a walking distance from an esthetically challenged parliament building in my home-country, I have nothing but the highest regards for almost all the capitol buildings I came across in northern America. Whether you’re strong into patriotism or are a politics-power cynic like myself, those buildings do a very good job at inspiring awe.

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To get inside the building you’ll need to either book a tour in advance or stand in line and hope for the best. I was never very good at planning anything, and so I took my chances and it worked out splendidly with relatively short lines and same-day tour pass. Naturally, all the hassle you go through in American airports will also apply here as American security is very tight, almost as bad as the Israelis.

Once inside, there are organized tours and a movie mainly aimed at activating an emotional sense of pride for domestic tourists. After 5 minutes of American superiority narrative I was honestly ready to pack my bags, move in and swear my allegiance. The tour had me convinced within seconds that the fathers of this great nation were inspiring flawless leaders whose pure vision of universal morals made our dark world a much better place. Thank God and God bless America.

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Not too far away, connected by an underground tunnel to the US capitol is the Library of Congress, another inspiring American institution. They have some good tours of the library introducing the different sections and some of the more precious holdings, if you have time on your hands. It’s nothing like any library I’ve ever seen.

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For a small-town guy like me, this was all very impressive.

View Comments

  • Wonderful photographs! I tell people I am "American by birth and Australian by choice". My two home countries couldn't have more radically different parliament buildings!

    • Thanks, Wally.

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