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“Educational and Free”

Virginia Capitol Building
Ranked #5 of 179 things to do in Richmond
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Inside the white, columned state capitol building, designed by Thomas Jefferson to resemble a first-century Roman temple in France, is the only sculpture of George Washington produced in his lifetime.
Reviewed 17 October 2011

Architecture was splendid. Tour Guide was informative and entertaining.

4  Thank LouisePennsylvania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"designed by thomas jefferson"
in 56 reviews
"guided tour"
in 93 reviews
"free tour"
in 40 reviews
"bank street"
in 16 reviews
"state capitols"
in 13 reviews
"senate chamber"
in 12 reviews
"bell tower"
in 12 reviews
"beautiful architecture"
in 17 reviews
"great tour"
in 32 reviews
"executive mansion"
in 9 reviews
"american history"
in 23 reviews
"lots of history"
in 20 reviews
"self guided"
in 11 reviews
"united states"
in 12 reviews
"visitor center"
in 13 reviews
"history lesson"
in 11 reviews
"walk around"
in 13 reviews
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834 - 838 of 891 reviews

Reviewed 16 October 2011

Free guided tours available hourly. Security is tight to enter this building (comparable to the airport), but definitely worth the effort. Our guide (Mrs. Moore?) was excellent. There is so much to see here:

1. Life-size statue of George Washington - considered to be the best likeness in existence. Our guide retold the story of how the artists had to cover Washington's face in plaster to make a life mask.

2. Beautiful rotunda with bustgs of all the Virginia born presidents and Lafayette (sp?) from the American Revolution.

3. Original building designed by Jefferson with portico (columns) -- unfortunately, you cannot stand on this porch due to security issues

4. Old Senate Chamber (originally a court room) dating back to 1788

5. The Jefferson Room

6. The Old hall of the House of Delegates where a) the Bill of Rights was ratified, b) Aaron Burr was tried for treason, and c) Robert E. Lee assumed command of the Confederate Army

7. Great paintings and portraits, e.g., Lady Astor

Our guide made all of this come alive for our group. There is also an exhibit hall, which has changing displays. Don't forget to view all the monuments surrounding the capital -- Washington, Stonewall Jackson, etc. There is even a statue of Edgar Allan Poe. Nearby is the Executive Mansion (Governor's house) which you can also visit -- see my separate review.

All in all, very impressive.

There is a very small gift shop and cafe on site that could be improved, but otherwise this is an outstanding historic site.

2  Thank CynthiafromOhio2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2011

We visited this Capitol on september 25th. Because it was a sunday we could park at the street next to the building.
Every hour on the hour there is a guided tour but you can visit it by your self. The guide tells you about the history of the building, the different Virginian presidents and they show you one of the chambers.
We were surprised that the chambers were not open for a self guided tour. You can see through the glass of the door, but the other capitols we saw, gave you the opportunity to watch with open doors.

1  Thank AmarilisVos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2011

The Virginia State Capitol, like the US Capitol, has built an impressive visitors center carved from the land below the Capitol building. It serves as a great welcome center and with displays prepare you for the Capitol tour. Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly. The new center meets the original building seamlessly and the tour is full of history.

I recommend it to any Richmond visitor.

1  Thank USATravelDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 September 2011

The Virginia State Capitol is a worthwhile and educational place to visit for both Virginians and out of state visitors. A visit to the Capitol puts so much of the country’s history into perspective, including men who played pivotal roles in our history. Mr. Sampson, our guide, was very knowledgeable and was able to answer every question tossed his way. We left the Capitol enriched, enlightened and appreciative of new-found knowledge!

1  Thank marcyNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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