Serving Congress and the Supreme Court, preserving America's Capitol, and inspiring memorable experiences

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Discovery of the Mississippi by De Soto
William Henry Powell’s dramatic and brilliantly colored canvas was the last of...

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Guided Tours: Buildings on Capitol Hill
Official Tours of the U.S. Capitol Building are offered Monday through...

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Dr. William Thornton
 The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is the builder and steward of America’s...

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Generator Progress May 2014
Work is underway at the northwest corner of the Library of Congress John Adams...

Crypt

Overview 

The large circular area on the first floor of the U.S. Capitol Building is called the Crypt. The 40 Doric columns of brown stone surmounted by groined sandstone arches support the floor of the Rotunda. This center section of the building was completed in 1827 under the direction of the third Architect of the Capitol, Charles Bulfinch. The star in the center of the floor denotes the point from which the streets in Washington are laid out and numbered. Located in the Crypt are 13 statues from the National Statuary Hall Collection, representing the 13 original colonies, and the Magna Carta replica and display.

Last Updated: January 29, 2014