Tuesday, May 17, 2016


State Capitol, Richmond, VA
This beautiful neoclassical Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson, is home to the oldest elected representative legislature in America. While Jefferson was Ambassador to France in 1785, he agreed to design the building.

In the center of the building is the two story rotunda with busts of the eight presidents who were born in Virginia. You would never guess from the outside that there is a dome inside. The dome is in the roof with a skylight in the center. (I didn't take a picture looking up at it because the light from the skylight was too bright.)

In the center is a life-sized statue of George Washington. It is the only statue Washington posed for. Jean-Antoine Houdon's marble statue is considered a perfect likeness of Washington which included making a life mask of Washington and taking his measurements. You can read more about the statue here.

We arrived at the capitol minutes after a tour had started with high school seniors and were invited to join the group. Because of it, we had a very meaningful and interesting tour and was even able to do some things we would not have been able to do otherwise.

The Old Hall of the House of Delegates
The Bill of Rights were ratified into the U. S. Constitution and Aaron Burr was tried and acquitted here.

The Mace for the House of Delegates
The Virginia House of Delegates Sergeant at Arms opens each session by carrying this mace into the hall. You can read an interesting narrative here about the previous Sergeant at Arms.

Robert E. Lee in the Old Hall of the House of Delegates
Lee also assumed command of the Virginia forces here.

Jefferson Room

The East and West Wings to house the new Senate and House Chambers were added in 1906. (I didn't get a picture of the Senate Chambers because the seniors went in first and immediately started a lesson the teacher had planned for them.) We did get to go into the House Chambers when another class finished their lesson which was very exciting.

The House of Delegates Chamber

The plaque behind the Speaker's Chair

Back in the Rotunda's mezzanine are framed portraits of Virginia's governors.


George Washington's Equestrian Monument

Virginia's Civil Rights Memorial
The Executive Mansion
One last look at the Capitol as we left....

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