About the U.S. Capitol: The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall. Though not in the geographic center of the District of Columbia, the Capitol is the origin by which the quadrants of the district are divided. Officially, both the east and west sides of the Capitol are referred to as "fronts". Historically, however, the east front was the side of the building intended for the arrival of visitors and dignitaries.
The Capitol has a long history in art of the United States, beginning in 1856 with Italian/Greek American artist Constantino Brumidi and his murals in the hallways of the first floor of the senate side of the Capitol. The murals, known as the Brumidi Corridors, reflect great moments and people in United States history. Among the original works are those depicting Benjamin Franklin, John Fitch, Robert Fulton, and events such as the Cession of Louisiana. Also decorating the walls are animals, insects and natural flora indigenous to the United States. Brumidi's design left many spaces open so that future events in United States history could be added. Among those added are the Spirit of St. Louis, the Moon landing, and the Challenger shuttle crew.
Please note that the tour of the US Capitol is free for those who sign up for our walking tour.
Before entering the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, all visitors are screened by a magnetometer, and all items that are permitted inside the building are screened by an x-ray device. Visitors should keep their belongings with them at all times as unattended items may result in a disruption of service at the Capitol.
While certain exceptions for medical needs can be made, the following items are strictly prohibited:
• Liquid, including water
• Food or beverage of any kind, including fruit and unopened packaged food
• Non-aerosol sprays (Prescriptions for medical needs are permitted.)
• Any bag larger than 18” wide x 14” high x 8.5” deep
• Knives of any size
• Aerosol containers
• Any pointed object, e.g., knitting needles and letter openers. (Pens and pencils are permitted.)
• Electric stun guns, martial arts weapons or devices
• Guns, replica guns, ammunition and fireworks
• Mace and pepper spray
• Razors and box cutters