Capitol (South Facade)
Exterior of the Capitol building, south facade, viewed from the southwest, 1933. The brick wall and southern entry gate are in the foreground, and in the background, the royal coat of arms is visible on the cupola above the entrance to the building. (Completed during the reign of Queen Anne, the building’s original cupola displayed the ruler’s coat of arms). The Union Jack is unfurled atop the cupola, where it flaps in the breeze. Above the central arch, a crest is featured in cut brick bearing the inscription "Her Majesty Queen Anne Her Royall Capitol," including cut-brick carvings of the sun, moon, and the planet Jupiter.
The rounded apsidal ends of the Capitol derive from Roman basilicas which contained such features in which public magistrates officiated. "The H-shaped plan of the Capitol reflects the division of the government between the lower and upper houses of the legislature....As the General Assembly evolved, it comprised the Council [meeting in the west wing, to the left] and the House of Burgesses [in the east wing, to the right], each of which met separately."
(Source: Michael Olmert and Suzanne Coffman, Official Guide to Colonial Williamsburg [Williamsburg, VA: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2007], 68).