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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Prohibited Items at the U.S. Capitol Building
In order to ensure the safety of visitors and staff and to preserve the...

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East Front of the U.S. Capitol Building
AOC’s annual Performance and Accountability Report provides the results of the...

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The figure of Liberty in the Apotheosis of George Washington is depicted wearing a Liberty Cap
The liberty cap was the symbol of freedom and liberty commonly used in the 19th...

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