I love capitols — can’t get enough of their marble halls, gilded domes, dark wood paneling and hundreds of tiny desks (at least they always *look* tiny from the viewing gallery) with multicolored voting buttons. They capture a regal era removed from our own with a permanence found rarely in modern architecture.
While in DC at the beginning of January, my destination of choice was the new visitors’ center at the U.S. Capitol. On the way, I passed the inauguration grounds with stage building in progress, pictured on Tuesday. (Where did you spend your inauguration day? Share your stories in the comments.)
In sheer contrast to the classical American dome is that of the German Reichstag, whose glass dome by Sir Norman Foster was added to the building after reunification. The overarching theme of Germany’s new governmental architecture is transparency, with buildings and offices as visible as possible. From the visitors’ area of the dome, it is possible to look down into the plenary room below, as pictured here.
A visit to the Reichstag is fun and free — check all the details for making yours a smooth one in this previous post.
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