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Old 09-09-2010, 06:52 PM
 
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Having returned from Washington D.C., it occurred to me what a curious place DC is for tourism. In addition to the museums, you have sights like the capital building, National Archives, Library of Congress, and the National Portrait Gallery. Are there European countries that open up their government facilities for tourists (I know the portrait gallery isn't a government facility in this sense, but it relates to my next question). Do Europeans see these sights as glorifying the U.S.? Do they consider this an example of U.S. arrogance?
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Murika
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You can visit the German Bundestag - even watch them in session. I would imagine that access to a country's political center is a hallmark of democratic transparency.

I can't tell you how other Euros perceive Washington, but to me, there is no perception of arrogance or really, of anything negative. I understand that I am staring the last of the World's superpowers into the eye - and I can appreciate that.

I believe just about any country "glorifies" it's accomplishments and those historic (or current) figures responsible for them - there is nothing unique about the US doing so and hence, I don't think anyone has negative perceptions regarding this habit, either.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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Agree with Vamos.

I find DC to be one of the most beautiful big cities of the US. As of now, it occupies first place, after I thought I like Boston best (I don't). Never been to San Francisco but I have a feeling that might take first place if I visited.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Macao
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I would second the others...it's a symbol of opening up the political world to the people of the nation.
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:54 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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Pet peeve time: capitol, not capital. Capital is money. Capitol is the center of power for a government.

Now that we got that out of the way ...

Most Europeans don't really care about how "open" the US's government is. If anything, the British have the same thing almost. You can tour many government buildings and the British Museum is a hallmark of former colonial times.

It's just a tourism spot to see many interesting things about a country's past, and it's views and power today. Nothing more.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
Pet peeve time: capitol, not capital. Capital is money. Capitol is the center of power for a government...
In most places, yes. In Chicago though, the meaning of the two words is reversed.

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Old 09-11-2010, 11:28 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prairiestate View Post
In most places, yes. In Chicago though, the meaning of the two words is reversed.

Really? I grew up in Chicago. I never remember it being "reversed" there. I Just think too many people type the way they speak and "capital" is how it is pronounced in Chicago for both words, so people just misspell it all the time.
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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Well, it's really just a southwest side thing. Or perhaps I made a mistake. It's hard to say which.
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Paris, France
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Can Americans watch Congressional proceedings during a session? The French public can watch the proceedings of the National Assembly (but not the Senate, I don't think).

The Presidential Palace is only open for visits one day a year, but it is not at all the same size as the White House either.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pennsylvania / Dull Germany
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I enjoyed my trip to Washington D.C. last week, I think it is a very beautiful city, very clean and safe, with many sights and lots of information about history and the development of the U.S. I do not consider this as a kind of arrogance, as the capital city is always a very special place for the people of a country - it is the same with Paris, Berlin, London and most other capital cities I have ever visited. If I would not be interested in information about a country and its history, I am not forced to visit those sights...
I do not care how powerful or weak a country is when I am visiting its capital. I am just interested in how the country was founded and which events and persons have been important in its history...

I think most European countries are similar in their openness to visitors, some more and some less, but for example the german parliament can be watched at any time from the glass dome above.

To be honest, the most interesting and beautiful government complex I have ever visited was the Kremlin in Moscouw. It is really a very exciting place to visit.
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