Tour Review: Babylon Tours – Private Capitol Hill Walking Tour
I recently had the pleasure of joining the Capitol Hill Walking Tour with Babylon Tour Company, and I must say it was an exceptional experience that exceeded all expectations. As we embarked on this 2.5-hour semi-private guided walking tour, I was thrilled to explore the epicenter of activity in Washington DC and discover the buildings and institutions that have shaped the United States into what it is today.
Our knowledgeable local guide was a true gem, leading our small group of fellow travelers through the heart of Capitol Hill with expertise and enthusiasm. The tour commenced with a visit to the awe-inspiring exteriors of the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and the Capitol itself. The architectural splendor of these iconic structures left me in awe, and our guide skillfully explained their historical and cultural significance.
Walking the grounds designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the brilliant mind behind New York City’s Central Park, added an extra layer of appreciation to the experience. The attention to detail in the landscaping and the harmony with the surrounding buildings created a serene and picturesque atmosphere.
Stepping inside the Thomas Jefferson building of the Library of Congress felt like entering a temple of knowledge. The grandeur and elegance of the interior design were a testament to the United States’ commitment to art, culture, and sophistication. I was particularly thrilled to see a real Gutenberg Bible, one of only four complete Gutenberg Bibles printed on vellum in the entire world. The rich history and craftsmanship of this rare artifact left me in awe of the power of the written word.
Learning about Thomas Jefferson’s love for books and how his personal collection became the seed from which the world’s largest library grew was truly inspiring. Our guide expertly shared insights into Jefferson’s intellectual pursuits, highlighting his profound belief in the importance of education and knowledge for a thriving society.
Exploring the elegant marble halls at the Museum of the Supreme Court provided a deeper understanding of the judicial system. The exhibits shed light on landmark cases and the principles that shape American jurisprudence. We were even fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of the actual courtroom, where some of the most significant decisions in American history have been made.
One of the highlights of the tour was when our guide provided us with access passes and valuable information about security protocols for the visitor’s galleries of the current chambers for the House of Representatives and/or the Senate. This allowed us the flexibility to explore these important democratic spaces at our leisure, making the experience even more immersive.
Although the tour did not include a visit to the Capitol Building itself, the entry passes to the House and Senate provided at the end of the tour allowed us to continue our exploration independently. This thoughtful gesture ensured that our journey through Capitol Hill remained comprehensive and provided the opportunity for further discovery.
Throughout the tour, our guide expertly highlighted the key highlights and offered valuable insights into the history and significance of each location. The captivating views of the exterior of the Capitol, the Supreme Court, and the Museum of the Supreme Court were complemented by a glimpse of the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress, where the pursuit of knowledge and the preservation of culture thrive.
The tour concluded with a visit to the iconic Statue of Freedom, which stands proudly atop the Capitol Building. This powerful symbol of liberty reminded me of the values that the United States holds dear and the ongoing pursuit of democracy that takes place within these walls.
In conclusion, the Capitol Hill Walking Tour with Babylon Tour Company was an unforgettable journey through the heart of American democracy. From the stunning architecture to the profound historical narratives, every moment was filled with intrigue and inspiration. I highly recommend this tour to anyone seeking a comprehensive and engaging exploration of Capitol Hill’s rich history and vibrant atmosphere.