Capitol Circles

Interior, Dome, US Capitol, Washington, DC

The current dome on the US Capitol in Washington, DC, is the second dome to grace the structure. Designed by Thomas U. Walter, the dome was influenced by classical European domes; it replaced a wooded dome completed by Charles Bulfinch in 1824. Built between 1854 and 1865, the new dome was made of fireproof cast iron painted to look like stone.   Constantino Brumidi painted a fresco, The Apotheosis of Washington, on a platform above the interior dome’s oculus.

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CB&WC: Benches

Solitary: Flight 93 Memorial

Bench on the observation/visitor center level of the Flight 93 National Memorial in rural Pennsylvania. United Airlines Flight 93 was hijacked on September 11, 2001 as part of coordinated terrorist attack on the United States. The heroic actions of the 40 passengers and crew prevented the plane from reaching its final destination, Washington, D.C. The plane crashed in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all on board. The observation level overlooks the Flight 93 flight path, crash site and debris field, the final resting place of the crew and passengers.

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WPC: Tour Guide

Washington, D.C. Monuments and Buildings

While I actually live just across the Potomac River from the US capital,  Washington, D.C. is where I take my visitors. There is so much to do see and most of it is free. These are a few of my favorite places.

WPC: Tour Guide

CFFC: Must have the Letter Q

Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut


Queen Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt. Born in 1507 BCE, she came to the throne in 1478 BCE on the death of her husband Thutmose II. She was in fact only acting as regent on behalf of her infant stepson Thutmose III. Within seven years, however, she took full power, assumed the title of pharaoh and became co-ruler.  To cement her authority as pharaoh, she ordered that she be depicted as a male in all likenesses, with the ruddy skin and false beard of male pharaohs. With the massive treasury  gained from expanded trade routes, she build vast monuments, including her mortuary temple complex at Deir el-Bahri, near the entrance of what became the Valley of the Kings. The statues on the third level of the temple show Hatshepsut in the guise of a male pharaoh. She governed for about 22 years and is the second historically confirmed female Egyptian pharaoh. After her death, Thutmose III and his son, Amenhotep II, erased her name from monuments and destroyed or defaced her images and statues. She is never mentioned by scribes in later records, and there is a gap in the list of kings for years she ruled. Hatshepsut disappeared into the detritus of history until after 1822, when hieroglyphics were deciphered following the discovery of the Rosetta stone  and scholars finally understand why a female name was combined with a male image.

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Tuesday Photo Challenge: Dark

 il fait nuit

il fait nuit, Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

I’m especially fond of the Arc de Triomphe. I discovered I have the same surname as one of  Napoleon’s generals. He died in October 1813 from wounds suffered at the Battle of Leipzig.  Though the general was born in Paris, his father was German. At the insistence of  his grandson, in 1893 the general’s name was added to the list of 660 officers engraved on the monument. It was the second to the last name so inscribed.  Unfortunately, I haven’t found a direct family connection to the general, but I like to claim his anyway because he was described by one of his fellow officers as the most beautiful man in all of the French army.

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Tuesday Photo Challenge: Close-up


Hand railing, Bennington Battle Monument, Bennington, Vermont

Oxidized Handrailing, Bennington Battle Monument, Bennington, Vermont

Oxidation on brass handrailing on the observation level of the Bennington Battle Monument, Bennington, Vermont. The blue-grey magnesian limestone obelisk is 306 feet 4 and 1/2 inches tall and was completed and dedicated in 1891. The monument was built to commemorate the August 16, 1777 Battle of Bennington, considered the turning point in the American Revolutionary War.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Close-up

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