The Library of Congress is one of my favorite place in DC. The color combination of light orange and turquoise in the Great Hall makes me happy. This is another “Lost Symbol” site. (See the Lost Symbol trace at the Washington National Cathedral.) Robert Langdon escaped from the Capitol to the Library of Congress Reading Room through an underground tunnel by riding the conveyor belt that transfers books among the Library’s three buildings. This pretty one is called the Thomas Jefferson Building. If you visit the Capitol, the Library of Congress is just across the street from the Capitol visitor center. You can walk from the Capitol to the library through an underground tunnel.
國會圖書館是我最喜歡的DC景點之一，大廳的橘色、銘黃色、土耳其藍這個組合看了就很開心。這又是一個丹布朗失落的符號景點 (蘭登在華盛頓國家大教堂)，羅伯蘭登為了躲避CIA從國會跳上運書的輸送帶、通過地下隧道跑到國會圖書館。國會圖書館有三棟樓，遊客會去的、漂亮的這棟叫Thomas Jefferson Building，如果去參觀國會的話，國會圖書館就在遊客中心的對街，可以從國會裡面的地下隧道走到國會圖書館。
The Library of Congress was established in 1800. But then British and Canadians set the library on fire in 1814; and there was the civil war and another big fire in 1851. This main building, the Thomas Jefferson Building, was built between 1890 and 1897.
In front of the library sits the Court of Neptune Fountain, designed by then 27-year-old American sculptor, Roland Hinton Perry in 1897. This is one of the most humorous fountains I’ve ever seen. I was a bit perplexed when I first saw it. So, this sea turtle is spraying water at the boobies of this lady, supposedly a sea nymph, Nereid, and then Neptune is staring at this sea turtle, while his sons blow conchs in their own little world. (Skip my nonsense and read the official guide.)
圖書館前面有個海神噴水池，是在1897-1898由當年27歲的美國雕刻家Roland Hinton Perry設計的，這噴水池真的很幽默，我第一次看到有點傻眼。這隻烏龜在調戲海洋女神，往她的胸部噴水，然後海神在中間瞪這隻烏龜，海神的兒子在旁邊吹海螺活在自己的世界裡，這是在演哪齣!? (認真版本的官方解說)
The highlight is definitely this centerpiece, the Great Hall. Don’t miss the display of the Gutenberg Bible on the side of this hall. (360 view of the Great Hall.)
On the second floor there are a couple of exhibitions. Usually photography is not allowed.
You can get in line to see the main reading room from an overlook. At the end of a staircase that leads to the Main Reading Room Overlook is the famous mosaic of Minerva. When the library is really busy, they only allow a quick walk through at the Main Reading Room Overlook. Most of the time they allow about 20-30 people at a time for a short period. So, if you want pictures, you need to be up front in the line and rush to get a good spot, or, be tall. Here are some of my 5’2”, way back in the line camera views.
To get in the reading room, you’ll need a library ID.
The other one of the three buildings that make up the Library of Congress, the James Madison Memorial Building, is also a great photography spot.
The Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First Street, SE
Washington, DC 20540
(Near the First Street and Independence Ave)
Metro: Capitol South (Orange/Blue Lines. Closest one.); Union Station (Red Line. 0.5 mile walk)
Monday – Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.