One of the draws of a capital city is the spectacular architecture. Washington D.C. is no exception. As I was walking down the Mall, I couldn’t help but think that this is a little what ancient Rome must have been like, except that we have substituted temples for museums.
Of course, Washington D.C. is not without its temples of a sort. One of the things that struck me during the Capitol tour was the amount of veneration given to George Washington in the artwork inside the Capitol. The fresco on the dome of the Capitol Rotunda is called “The Apotheosis of Washington” which depicts George Washington being exalted in the heavens as a god. I couldn’t help but think that Washington himself would have probably been irked. Same for the other founding fathers who didn’t receive such divine treatment.
Regardless, the imagery is one of the reasons why capital cities are so exciting to visit. The buildings, the art, the history are rarely under-stated. As a people, we want to exalt our accomplishments and the people who made them possible. Hubris aside, these grandiose achievements show our collective creativity and ingenuity, allowing visitors to experience something larger than life and breath-taking.