does a Capitol differ from a Capital?
It is surprising how many people
fail to distinguish between Capitol and Capital when used in
relation to governments. According to American usage, a Capitol
is a building in which the legislative branch of a government
holds its sessions; a Capital is the seat of the entire government
and hence the city where the Capitol or statehouse is located.
Thus the United States Capitol, where Congress holds its sessions,
is at Washington D.C, which city is the Capital of the United
States. Likewise the New York Capitol, where the State Legislature
holds its sessions, is at Albany, which city is the Capital
of the State of New York.
Both words are derived indirectly
from the Latin caput, meaning head. But capitol, like French
capitole, is borrowed from the form Capitolium, which was
the name of the national temple in Rome dedicated to Jupiter.
It was called Capitolium because it was the head or top of
Saturnian or Tarpeian Hill, which in later times became known
as Capitoline Hill. The then governor Francis Nicholson of
Virginia, who built a new statehouse at Williamsburg in 1698,
was the first to apply "Capitol" to a government
building in America.
||In time the statehouse
in most of the States came to be called the State Capitol, and
it was natural that the Federal Government also has adopted
the same name for the home of Congress which was built
in the District of Columbia.
Capital, as applied to
the chief commercial or political city of a nation
or state was originally an adjective used and means
capital city, that is, head city.
A “capitol” is almost always a building. Cities which serve
as seats of government are capitals spelled with an A in the
last syllable, as are most other uses of the word as a common
noun. The only exceptions are place names alluding to capitol
buildings in some way or other, like “Capitol Hill” in DC,
Denver, or Seattle (the latter either named after the hill
in Denver or in hopes of attracting the Washington State capitol
building). Would it help to remember that Congress with an
O meets in the Capitol with another
Architect of the Capitol:
Visiting the Capitol
The Capitol is open to the public for guided tours only. Tours
are conducted from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday - Saturday
(the Capitol is not available for tours on Sundays), and is
open on all federal holidays except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas
Day. Visitors must obtain free tickets for tours at the Capitol
Guide Service kiosk located along the curving sidewalk southwest
of the Capitol. Ticket distribution begins at 9:00 a.m. daily,
and the maximum tour size is 40 people. For accessibility
information and tours for the disabled, please contact the
Congressional Special Services Office: 202-224-4048 (voice)
or 202-224-4049 (TDD).
States Capitol - Wikipedia: The United States Capitol
is the capitol building that serves as the seat of government
for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of
the U.S. federal government. It is located in Washington,
D.C., on top of Capitol Hill at the east end of the National
Mall. Although not in the geographic center of the District
of Columbia, the Capitol is the focus by which the quadrants
of the district are divided. Curiously, the west face, which
is often taken to be the "front" of the building,
is actually its "back"; the true front is the east
building was originally designed by William Thornton. This
pzlan was subsequently modified by Stephen Hallet, Benjamin
Latrobe and then Charles Bulfinch. The current dome and the
House and Senate wings were designed by Thomas U. Walter and
August Schoenborn, a German immigrant, and were completed
under the supervision of Edward Clark.
building is marked by its central dome above a rotunda and
two wings, one for each chamber of Congress: the north wing
is the Senate chamber and the south wing is the House of Representatives
chamber. Above these chambers are galleries where visitors
can watch the Senate and House of Representatives. It is an
example of the Neoclassical architecture style.
Capitol Virtual Tour - A "Capitol" Experience: The
Old Supreme Court Chamber, The Old Senate Chamber, The Senate
Chamber [The Senate moved into its current chamber when the
north wing of the Capitol was completed in 1859. Since the
Civil War era, senators have deliberated, voted on legislation,
and advised on and consented to treaties and nominations in
this chamber. As president of the Senate, the vice president
of the United States presides from the central dais. The tier
below is assigned to the assistant secretary of the Senate,
the journal clerk, parliamentarian, and legislative clerk.