Friday, September 3, 2010

Washington, D.C. - Day 3(a) Library of Congress

We went on a tour early in the morning at the Library of Congress.  We later think this was the tour that was most worth it to see and a beautiful place to visit in Washington, D.C.

We were all surprised to see the library had such an elaborately decorated interior.  We learned from our docent that this was the largest, and  most expensive library in the world in 1897.   It was built so lavishly for the need of Congress and also to show the world how rich America was back then. The collection of the Jefferson library (with most of his original books displayed) and the first map which indicated where America was can be seen in this library.  

Ceiling artwork with all aluminum which was very expensive to use when the library was built.

All were embellished by works of art from nearly fifty American painters and sculptors,   The cupids represented all types of American workers and were carved on both sides of the stairwell.

All artwork was handmade with small mosaics .
The names on the ceiling were people who had influence on law, science, and medicine.
We were able to see the Main Reading Room from the upper floor viewing area, but we were not able to tour inside or take pictures.  You  can see the lavish room here.  

After the tour at the library, we left and went to the Museum of natural history.

Inside of the museum
Once you are inside, there are many different halls to go to, such as fossil, human life, ocean hall, natural stones,etc. See tour here

Natural gemstone exhibits:

Dinasaurs Fossil

After the natural history museum, we headed to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to tour how the U. S. Dollars are printed. 

You can also buy the new dollars just printed from there too.

The good thing about the Smithsonian Institution is everything is within walking distance.  We walked over to the Museum of American history.  To be continued...

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