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Welcome to the U.S. Capitol

The United States Capitol

The Capitol is among the most architecturally impressive and symbolically important buildings in the world. The Senate and the House of Representatives have met here for more than two centuries. Begun in 1793, the Capitol has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored; today, it stands as a monument not only to its builders but also to the American people and their government.

Whether you are here to get information about an upcoming visit, to involve yourself in the workings of the Senate and House of Representatives, or to be inspired by two centuries of art and architecture, this site will be a gateway to your Capitol experience.

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Plan a Visit

Clock  iconHours: The Capitol Visitor Center is open to visitors from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Inauguration Day. Tours of the U.S. Capitol are conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Visitors with official business appointments may enter the Visitor Center as early as 7:15 a.m.

No backpacks symbolBackpack Warning: Do not bring large daypacks, backpacks or luggage into the Capitol. Any bag larger than 14" wide x 13" high x 4" deep is prohibited. All bags will be subject to a lengthy search and security screening.

ticket iconBook a Tour: Tours of the U.S. Capitol are free. Advance reservations are required.

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What's Happening at the Capitol

Congressional Leaders Announce Opening Date for Capitol Visitor Center: The four Congressional leaders, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Republican Leader John Boehner, have announced that the official public opening date for the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center will be December 2, 2008. This is a significant date in the history of the U.S. Capitol as it was on December 2, 1863, that the final section of Statue of Freedom was placed atop the Capitol to signify the completion of construction of the new dome.