One Hour to Discover DC

2201 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20520

If your time in the District is limited, head to the Department of State Diplomatic Reception Rooms for a dose of true DC. For fifty years, these rooms have hosted incredible State ceremonies, and it’s not surprising why: They are among the most beautiful rooms in the world.

Located on the seventh and eighth floors of the Harry S Truman Building, the Diplomatic Reception Rooms contain an expansive collection of American fine and decorative art. When they opened in 1961, the Rooms looked much different than they currently do. The original brown paneled walls and wall-to-wall carpeting on cement floors have been replaced by a magnificent art installation and beautiful hard wood flooring. Featuring some of the most iconic portraits of former Presidents and Secretaries of State, the Diplomatic Reception Rooms are a hidden gem deserving of your attention. The famous art pieces include The Bloody Massacre, depicting the Boston Massacre, a handful of anti-slavery medallions with the phrase “Am I Not A Man and A Brother”, the unfinished painting “The American Commissioners of the Preliminary Peace Negotiations with Great Britain,” and many more.

They are among the most beautiful rooms in the world.

Not only do the Diplomatic Reception Rooms house amazing art pieces but they also act as an essential location where the Secretary of State, Vice President, and Members of Cabinet conduct modern diplomacy. In these rooms, the United States facilitates trade agreements, conducts summit negotiations, hosts swearing-in ceremonies, signs treaties, and conducts many other important state business. If all this sounds daunting, don’t fret: Tours are offered Monday-Friday at 9:30am, 10:30am, and 2:45pm.