The U.S. Capitol is the most widely recognized symbol of democratic government in the world. The Rotunda is the large, domed, circular room in the center of the Capitol. It measures 96 feet in diameter and 180 feet in height, and has been described as the “heart of the Capitol.” Capped by the U.S. Capitol’s iconic Dome, the Rotunda has been the stage for important moments in the history of our nation, such as the lying in state of eminent citizens and the dedication of works of art.
The Rotunda is home to twelve sculptures, including statues of nine presidents, a bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and a 14,000-pound sculpture commemorating the pioneers of the woman suffrage movement. Eight large oil paintings adorn the Rotunda walls and highlight scenes from the Revolutionary War and important moments in the history of the exploration of North America. The Rotunda canopy features a 4,664-square-foot fresco painting entitled “The Apotheosis of Washington” showing George Washington ascending to the heavens surrounded by 13 women representing the original 13 states. Circling the Rotunda 58 feet above the floor is a 300-foot-long frescoed band, or “frieze,” that depicts significant events in American history.
With this app you can:
• Take a virtual tour of the Rotunda with the help of 360-degree imaging
• Learn about each of the sculptures and paintings in the Rotunda
• Explore up close the painting on the Rotunda ceiling
• Learn about the types of ceremonies that occur in the Rotunda
• Discover how the Rotunda was used as a hospital
• Find out about the Capitol Dome Restoration Project