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The United States Capitol

The Capitol building is where Congress meets to make laws for the nation. It is seen as a symbol of the American government. The Capitol is located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  The U.S. Capitol has been the home of the House of Representatives and the Senate since 1800. In March 1792, a design contest was announced to design the U.S. Capitol. There were 16 plans submitted and all were rejected. William Thornton, an amateur architect from the British West Indies, sent in a late entry and it was accepted in fall 1792. President Washington liked it because of its "grandeur, simplicity and convenience." The Capital  is a large building with a white iron dome. The Statue of Freedom stands on top of its dome.

Members of Congress meet in large rooms called chambers. Visitors are sometimes allowed to visit the Senate and House Chambers to watch as laws for the United States are made.

Click here to take a virtual tour of the U.S. Capitol
You can learn more about the history of the Capitol from the Architect of the Capitol.