Tourism in Washington DC attracts people from near and from far. Americans alike international resdients flock to the federal city to see what our country is made of. Popular sites like the Lincoln Monument appear on paper and coined money. While the National Mall, the area where this site is located, is home to several meuseums and public areas. The operating functions of our government, made for the people and by the people, is open to the public on a daily basis.
Taking just an hour out of your visit time while DC to learn about how departments work is all you need. Four major public buildings employ thousands and offer guided tours throughout the day. Located behind the National Mall is: The US Capital Building, The Library of Congress, The offices of Congress, and The Supreme Court. Tiimes vary for each tour and are issued on a first come fisrt serve basis. Volunteers are ready to fill your mind with amazing historical facts.
The US Capital Building:
Walking the lower level of the building can show the artictectual history of the building. A Live meuseum type of quality exhibit rest here on display. Stay as long as you want, take pictures, and plan on doing some reading. The learning experience is in valuable.
The guided tour requires visitors to register at a check in counter and receive a sticker with a call number printed on it. Large groups should call ahead to make a reservation. The tour last almost an hour. The guide will take you for a walk through the Rotunda, the lower galleries, past the Senate chambers, into the main gallery after a short movie is played. In the main Gallery lives the original case holder of the document "The Magna Carta". The original paper issue of it is on display at the National Archives.
The Offices of Congress:
These three seperate buildings are located around the outside of the US Caoital Building and are connected by a tunnel for memebrs of Congress to use as a private enterance. All 535 memerbs of Congress have an allowance to pay for their choice of decoration of their offices. The purpose is to provide a public meeting space for citizens to talk to their representatives. On most days the offices are available the same day you tour the Capital. To gain access to the Senate chambers, you must go into your state rep's office and gain an access pass. The same goes for getting access to tour the White House. It is recomended that these reservation are made by the online contact for each visitor's rep. in Congress.
The Supreme Court:
Also open daily, even under current construction. On the outside of the building are " nearly fifty- ton marble blocks are James Earle Fraser's Statues of Contemplation of Justice and Authority of Law". The office of the curator provides free handouts dephlicting the great leaders which are symbolized in granite and stone around the courthouse building. The public lecture will explain the operations of the decesions made by the panel of justices from inside of the courtroom. The Great Hall houses portraits and meuseum like exhibits about the court's history from it's beginning in the 1830's to it's new home made in the 1930's. Pictures are also welcome.
Library of Congress:
Tours to walk through the Great Hall of the Library of Congress also include viewing of the reading room. Only offical researchers may read from the library's collection of over 10 million books. This site also is intended for members of Congress to use in making legislation. This refference only library hosts exhibits, lectures, and special public events throughout the year. Visitors can learn about the entricet detailing of the walls, ceilings, and rotunda of the reading rooms and more. The importance of the figures who are honored here stand out as a literary tradition.
All of the tours provided are free, and occur throughout the day at various time. PLease chack by website for further information. Each site has a wide range of gifts and souvinuers available in the giftshop. Questiona are always welcome.