Dome Interior

When Abraham Lincoln lay in state at the Rotunda in 1865, journalist Noah Brooks saw the spectacle from 180 feet above the coffin near the ceiling: "Directly beneath me lay the casket in which the dead President lay at full length, far, far below; and like black atoms moving over a sheet of gray paper, the slow-moving mourners, seen from a perpendicular above them, crept silently in two dark lines across the pavement of the rotunda, forming an ellipse around the coffin and joining as they advanced toward the eastern portal and disappeared."

The fresco on the dome, called the "Apotheosis of Washington," was completed by Constantino Brumidi in 1865.

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