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America From The Road

Get High At Kansas State Capitol On A Tour Of Its Dome!

Out of all the state capitol buildings in America, the Kansas State Capitol is the only one where visitors are permitted to climb to the top of its dome!

That’s not the only special thing about this statehouse. There are several remarkable facts about Kansas State Capitol, but one of the most noteworthy is that it is the tallest capitol building in the United States !

Kansas State Capitol Visitor Center

The Kansas Statehouse is actually 17 feet taller than the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. So not only is this the tallest capitol building in the United States, but also the only one where visitors are permitted to climb to the top of.

Is that USA bucket list worthy or what?!

You can visit this bucket list destination in downtown Topeka.

Topeka has served as the capital city of Kansas since the territory became a state in 1889. This historic city in northeast Kansas has several fascinating places to visit but none of them are as impressive as the Kansas State Capitol!

It is constructed entirely of limestone and topped by a copper dome. Standing on top of the dome is a Kaw statue named Ad Astra, and on the Dome Tour you can stand directly beneath this iconic statue!

What to expect on a Kansas State Capitol Dome Tour

A tour of Kansas State Capitol’s dome is undoubtedly one of the most unique tours you will ever take! To be honest, I did not know you could tour the building’s dome until I arrived at the capitol for a pre-booked group tour of the building’s lower five floors.

When our tour guide mentioned that the Dome Tour was about to begin and it was our last chance to switch to that excursion I jumped at the opportunity.

The dome tour begins on the fifth floor. A tour guide will give you a quick brief on safety before leading you through a locked door.

This is when you’ll start the ascent. You’ll climb a total of 296 stairs . It’s the equivalent of climbing a ten-story building!

Inside the dome of the Kansas State Capitol building.

A curved staircase spirals upwards leading visitors to a space between the inner and outer dome. That’s right, there are actually two domes!

The glass dome that is visible inside above the rotunda is in fact an inner dome, not the dome that can be seen from outside.

Standing in this space is really cool. There is a certain beauty in the symmetry of the construction.

In this space between the inner and outer domes you will see grafitti on the walls. The grafitti dates back to over 50 years ago when the public were once allowed to tour the dome unsupervised.

Rather than getting rid of the grafitti, our tour guide informed us that the grafitti was not cleaned up so as to serve as a reminder of why the dome is accessible by guided tour only.

Tour of the Kansas State Capitol's dome.

The staircase keeps going up, hugging the perimeter of the wall until you are high above the giant glass inner dome.

At each level you’ll get a chance to have a break and absorb the fascinating construction. Take the time to walk around the circular platform to peer out of the windows to see views of the city in all directions.

Tour of the Kansas State Capitol building.

Eventually your eyes will set upon the last stretch of stairs and where they will be leading you.

The stairs move away from the wall and hang in mid-air. And if that section wasn’t terrifying enough, a narrow spiral staircase dangles under the highest point of the domed ceiling.

It is upon seeing this narrow catwalk that most visitors become strick with terror. I know that I did. To be perfectly honest, this is where I completely chickened out. But in my defense, I was not the only one!

I decided to stay put here and watch the other visitors ascend the last 50 or so steps. Just watching them was nerve-wracking enough for me.

Climbing to the top of the Kansas Statehouse

I looked on as the bravest in my group climbed through the roof of the cupola and onto the outside balcony.

Once you are standing on the outside balcony, you will officially be standing at the highest point in Topeka.

I was told the circular walkway outside offers panoramic views of the city, as well as a close up look at the bronze Kaw statue.

Of course, once you are done taking in the views you will have to come back down the same terrifying way you went up.

It was amusing for me to see the fear on the faces of others as I watched them descend the spiral staircase. This was confirmation enough for me to know there was no way I could have handled the dizzying heights.

Some of the visitors said to me it was even scarier coming back down.

Dome tour of Kansas State Capitol in Topeka, Kansas.

Did I regret not making it all the way to the top? No, not really. I wasn’t in the mood for an anxiety attack that day. But I am glad that I went up as far as I did because I was most interested in seeing the inner architecture of the dome.

It was truly fascinating to see, and I would certainly do this tour again!

If you are afraid of heights like I am, but have a curious personality (like I do), I highly recommend taking the dome tour and going up as high as you feel comfortable.

The tour is not rushed at all. You can take your time on the way up whether it’s to take pictures or calm your nerves. If at any point you don’t feel comfortable, you can stop and turn back. You will defintely still have a sense of accomplishment even if you just make it to the inner dome.

Dome Tours last approximately 40 minutes. Reservations are not required unless there is more than 30 people in your group.

Be sure to leave enough time to explore the lower five floors of the Kansas State Capitol building. Every floor is stunning and holds history and artwork that will give you a glimpse of past and present Kansas.

Tour Details: Tours are run by Kansas Historical Society. They are conducted from Monday through Friday every hour. Here is the schedule: 9:15, 10:15, 11:15 a.m., 12:15, 1:15, 2:15, 3:15 p.m. Tours are free!

Where:  300 SW 10th St, Topeka, KS 66612. The entrance is on the ground level, North Wing, on 8th Avenue. Parking information  here .

Where To Stay In Topeka

The top-rated hotel in Topeka is Cyrus Hotel . It is situated in downtown just two blocks from the Kansas State Capitol. This newly renovated boutique property is stylish and features a 24-hour fitness center, restaurant, and bar.

If you prefer to stay closer to Interstate-70 there are several chain hotels to choose from like Hampton Inn , Country Inn , and Hilton Garden Inn . See all hotels in Topeka here .

Where Is Kansas State Capitol?

Kansas State Capitol is situated in downtown Topeka. Topeka is about 60 miles from Kansas City which is approximately a one hour drive. You can easily visit Topeka on a day trip from Kansas City.

If you are visiting Kansas from out of state, you can visit Topeka and the Kansas State Capitol on this northeast Kansas road trip .

  • Need to rent a car for your trip? Use rentalcars.com to compare rental prices between car companies.
  • Prefer RV or campervan travel? Search Outdoorsy for RV and campervan rentals for your next road trip adventure!

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AD ASTRA EXPLORER

  • Andrea LaRayne Etzel
  • Jan 17, 2022

KANSAS CAPITOL: Ultimate Guide to the Statehouse of the Sunflower State

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

An iconic piece of architecture, the Kansas Capitol is a building built in the reflection of the pioneer spirit of our state.

kansas capitol building exterior

A Brief History

Touring the Kansas Capitol

What to Look for on each Floor

Take a Walk Around the Grounds

What's on Top of the Kansas Capitol?

Frequently Asked Questions

Having lived in Topeka, the Capital city of Kansas, I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve visited the Capitol. Even now I’m at the Statehouse multiple times of the year for events. And still, I’m continually noticing - new to me - details. The feeling of “awe” peering up at the inner dome inspires never gets old.

Rich with history and art, the Kansas Capitol is also the home to the state’s legislative body. Kansas’ Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s working and ceremonial offices are also located in the Statehouse. Not to be overlooked, the extraordinary State Library can be found on the third floor.

A BRIEF HISTORY

The land the Capitol stands on was originally donated by a founding member of the Free State Party, Mayor of Topeka, and railroad man - Cyrus Holliday. Construction on the Capitol began with the east wing in 1866. After 37 years, the Statehouse was completed.

Fun Fact: In 1869, while construction was in full progress, government offices were moved to the new Capitol building from the Old Constitution Hall - which can still be viewed at 427-429 Kansas Avenue.

Kansas architect John G. Haskell designed the Capitol in a classic-inspired architecture style. Other important elements included ensuring the building was fire resistant, using natural lighting, ventilation and air circulation.

The Capitol measures 399 feet north and south and 386 feet east and west. It stands 306 feet from the ground to the top of Ad Astra 's bow, which is roughly 17 feet taller than the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. While there is no ordinance for it, the Capitol is the tallest building in Topeka.

TOURING THE CAPITOL

Guided history tours are once again available at the Statehouse. From January 10 through May 2022, tours are at 9, 10, and 11 am, 1, 2, and 3 pm -Monday through Friday. On Saturday, tours are offered at 10 and 11 am., 1 and 3 pm. There are no Dome Tours at this time.

If the times above don’t work with your schedule, or you prefer to tour on your own, self-guided tours are also allowed. You can pick up an information brochure at the Visitors Center desk.

During the Legislative season (January to May), some rooms may be in use during your visit.

At the time of this blog, masks are recommended in the Capitol.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON EACH FLOOR OF THE CAPITOL

Visitor center level.

museum exhibits gallery

Once you arrive at the Capitol, you’ll need to stop briefly at the security entrance. From there you can either stop at the Visitor Center welcome desk, or you can continue on into the Capitol. On this level, you’ll find galleries with museum-quality exhibits telling the story of the Statehouse. Artifacts from when it was built, photography from the construction period, and pieces of the Capitol dome from when it was renovated in the early 2000s. Remember when you’re done with the tour to stop at the Capitol gift shop by the exit.

Selfie Opportunity: There’s a giant Kansas county map etched into the floor, you can’t miss it. Many, including myself, have taken a photo of themselves (usually their feet) in their home county. Not from Kansas? Randomly pick one - or choose Shawnee Co because this is the county you’re in while at the Capitol.

There are two sets of stairs that lead to the first floor, as well as two elevators.

FIRST FLOOR

Inner dome of the Kansas Capitol

The first floor is where it’s most evident that the Capitol wings were built separately. There’s a notable difference in the look and styles. A fun piece of Capitol history is the cage elevator. Installed in 1923, visitors can take the elevator from the first to fifth floors. Today it is still hand-operated by a Capitol staff member. From 1976 legislation, it was passed that due to the elevator's historic significance it will be maintained in operating condition.

The eight rotunda murals, cover moments in Kansas history, were painted by Topeka illustrator, artist, and muralist, David H. Overmyer.

Stand directly in the middle of the compass on the floor and look directly up. Above you is the 256 glass-paneled inner dome of the Capitol.

SECOND FLOOR

kansas capitol wide angle look at second floor rotunda

The Capitol’s most famous, or infamous, the feature is on this floor - John Steuart Curry’s larger-than-life mural Tragic Prelude . Depicting a craze-eyed, abolitionist John Brown with his arms stretched wide carrying a bible in one hand and a rifle in the other. Curry’s other mural Kansas Pastoral , which has also been viewed as scandalous - one reason being the wife’s skirt is too short, is in the opposite wing.

Kansas capitol mural of John Brown

Other features on the second floor are the four limestone statues of notable Kansans by Hays artist Peter Felton. The Kansans here are President Dwight Eisenhower, publisher William Allen White, aviator Amelia Earhart, and former Governor and U.S. Senator Arthur Capper. Surrounding the statues are murals by Lumen Martin Winter highlighting Kansas history.

Did you know? Silverdale limestone from southeastern Kansas was used to create the four statues. Felton believed Silverdale was the finest limestone in Kansas.

Flags in the center of the rotunda represent nations or states that have claimed all or portions of Kansas: the United Kingdom, the French Monarchy, the French Republic, Mexico, Spain, Texas, United States, and Kansas

CEREMONIAL OFFICES

Across from Tragic Prelude is the Governor's Ceremonial office. Here is where many proclamation signings happen, bills, and official events. The walnut ceremonial desk was made by students at the School for the Deaf in Olathe in the 1930s. Items on display are chosen by the sitting governor.

Also on this floor is the Secretary of State's Ceremonial Office. Favorite features include the fireplace and the original washbasin that was installed in 1896.

THIRD FLOOR

senate chamber in kansas capitol

SENATE CHAMBER

The stunning Senate chamber is located in the east wing - the oldest part of the Capitol. Architectural and decor elements include several types of marble, the original native Kansas cherry wood desks, and colossal hand-cast columns with ornate circular grills that once allowed for air circulation. Looking above, the plaster ceiling conveys an Egyptian-inspired design.

REPRESENTATIVE HALL

Overlooking desks in the Kansas Capitol's House of Representatives

Across the rotunda, Representative Hall sits in the west wing. Not to be outdone by the Senate Chambers, the house features marble, 22-karat gold leaf, and pink columns made of a faux marble process using plaster. The only faux marble found in the Capitol.

Running the upper border of the walls are ten names of Kansas men who were considered prominent statesmen in Kansas’ history. Notable names are first Kansas State Governor Charles Robinson, first Governor of the Kansas Territory Andrew Reeder, and Free Stater James Lane - whose history in Kansas is complicated at best.

During the recent renovation, the fresco ceiling murals were uncovered. The murals, painted in 1882 by E. S. Miragoli and Company of St. Louis, represent justice, history, law, and liberty. The murals have been fully restored.

STATE LIBRARY OF KANSAS

Note: The library is not typically accessible on the weekends. To see the library and its glass floor visit during the week.

The two-story library is located in the north wing. Built to include the first electric lighting in the Capitol. To allow for better lighting in the library the floors on the second level were made of glass. Which is still there today. You notice details like brass sunflowers, stenciling, and brass railings.

BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION MURAL

large wall mural showcasing a teacher teaching students about Brown vs. Board of Education

One of the newest additions to the Capitol is the large Brown vs. Board of Education mural by Kansas City artist Michael Young. Created a mural in 2018, the mural depicts the legacy of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court desegregation case. The mural is located outside the old state supreme court where earlier civil rights cases were fought.

OLD SUPREME COURT

Supreme Court room in the Kansas Capitol

If these hallowed walls could talk. The old Kansas Supreme Court chamber has witnessed numerous significant cases. Along with those related to Brown vs. Board of Education, another historic case from 1925 ruled the outlawing of the Ku Klux Klan. Making Kansas the first state in the United States to disallow the hate group. The chamber in the Capitol was used until 1978, then the Supreme Court moved across 10th street to the then-new Kansas Judicial Center.

FOURTH FLOOR

Galleries for both the Senate Chamber and House of Representatives are located on the fourth floor.

FIFTH FLOOR & DOME

People viewing the inner dome of the Kansas Capitol

When the dome tours are running, they begin on the fifth floor. Since at this time they are not, your best view of the dome is here. You’ll notice the four murals painted at the base of the dome by Abner Crossman. What you won’t see is the original dome mural painted by Fedeli. It depicted a Greek design with 16 maidens with garlands of flowers. The mural was heavily criticized and thought to look like “nude telephone girls.”

Mural from the Kansas Capitol Dome

In 1902, Crossman was commissioned to paint new murals. They represent Religion, Knowledge and Temperance, Peace, and Power. His firm also designed the semi-relief statues and state seals located below the paintings.

TAKE A WALK AROUND CAPITOL SQUARE

exterior of the kansas capitol building

The Capitol grounds are not to be missed. With statues of two Presidents - Dwight Eisenhower and Abraham Lincoln. A small version replica of the Statue of Liberty. There are three memorials - the Pioneer Woman Memorial, Kansas Law Enforcement Memorial, and the Kansas Veterans Memorial.

As you walk along the sidewalks you’ll notice markers embedded in the path, this is the Kansas Walk of Honor. Established by Governor Brownback in 2011, the walk honors Kansans who have contributed to Kansas at a state and national levels - such as Bob Dole (the first honoree) and Charles Curtis, the first person of color and Native American to be Vice President of the United States.

WHAT'S ON TOP OF THE KANSAS CAPITOL?

ad astra statue on top of Kansas capitol

Some might say it’s more of who is on top of the Capitol, than what. It’s Ad Astra. A Kansa warrior.

From before its completion in 1903, it was heavily debated what would go atop of the Capitol. The original thought was a bronze sculpture of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. But the idea of honoring a pagan goddess was frowned upon. For decades it was put aside until the 1980s. In 1988, a competition was held and artists submitted their concepts for the statue. Richard Bergens won the commission with his Kansa warrior.

After 14 years the statue was finally cast in June 2002. Ad Astra stands 22 feet and 2 inches tall and weighs just over 4,400 pounds. The statue was perched on top of the Capitol on October 10, 2002.

Fun Fact: Ad Astra is quite sturdy and designed to sway no more than one inch in an 80 m.p.h. Wind. - Kansas Historical Society

Ad Astra is named after Kansas state motto, Ad Astra per Aspera. Latin for “to the stars through difficulty.” The statue also honor’s our state’s Native American heritage. Kansas’ name comes from the Kanza tribe, People of the South wind. At its dedication in November 2002, members from all four American Indian tribes including the Kaw or (Kansa) Nation participated in the ceremony by praying and singing blessings for the statue.

Why is the statue a different color? Ad Astra is silicon bronze, the coloring matches the color of the Capitol of when it was first placed. The Capitol dome is copper, which tarnishes over time from a copper-brown to a green patina. When the Capitol was renovated in the 2000s, after Ad Astra was added, the copper on the dome was replaced. Over time the new copper will tarnish and change colors back to green.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Where is the kansas capitol.

Located in Topeka, the Capital city of Kansas, which is in Shawnee County. The Capitol is placed between Jackson and Harrison, and 10th Street and 8th Ave.. The visitors center's entrance is on 8th Avenue - the north side.

If you’re driving along I-70, the Capitol is located a short five-minute drive off of the exit ramp for 10th Street.

WHERE TO PARK WHEN VISITING THE CAPITOL?

There is free underground parking off of 8th Avenue, entrance is located between Harrison and Van Buren, open 8 am - 5 pm Monday - Friday, 10 am - 4 pm. Saturday. There is also metered parking surrounding Capitol Square, and nearby off-street parking available on 8th Avenue.

DOES IT COST TO TOUR THE CAPITOL?

No, both self-guided and guided tours are free.

ARE PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO ALLOWED IN THE CAPITOL?

Yes, you can take both photography and video inside the Capitol. It’s good to keep in mind this is a very active building during the week while the Legislature is in session. Hundreds of people work in the Capitol. There are many lobbying events happening throughout the week. If you’d prefer more quiet and fewer people experience, Saturdays may be better.

WHO MANAGES THE CAPITOL?

The Capitol Visitor Center, store, exhibits, galleries, and tours are managed by the Kansas Historical Society .

kansas state capitol tours

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Tour the Kansas State Capitol

Jan 19, 2020 | Blog , Midwest , Tours & Experiences

kansas state capitol tours

The Kansas State Capitol building is the only US Capitol where the visitors can go to the top of the dome and walk along the outside for amazing views of Topeka. Standing at 304 feet tall, it is taller than the United States Capitol dome by 16 feet. The building was completed in 1903 after 37 years of construction. The bronze statue of the Kansa warrior, Ad Astra, was placed on the top of the dome in 2002.

kansas state capitol tours

The unforgettable dome tour , given by the Kansas State Historical Society , is not for the faint of heart. Climb the 296 steps to the top over a series of narrow, spiral, and irregularly spaced stairs and landings. Get close up views of the interior and exterior domes. You definitely earn bragging rights by reaching the cupola!

Know before you go:

  • Reservations are not required for groups of 10 or fewer.
  • Cost is free during scheduled times.
  • Tours last approximately 40 minutes.
  • Anyone with heart, back, or knee issues or with fear of heights should not participate in the tour.
  • Tours are scheduled hourly from 9:15 to 3:15, Monday through Friday, and 10:15 to 3:15 on Saturdays.

kansas state capitol tours

Historic Tours

There are also Historic Tours given of the rest of the building— a great way to get some Kansas history as well as stay a little closer to the ground. You’ll see the murals on the first and second floor and view the dome murals from the fifth floor. The spectacular Senate Chamber in the east wing and Representative Hall in the west wing are important tour stops. The ornate Old Kansas Supreme Court in the south wing and State Library of Kansas in the north wing are equally impressive.

  • Tours are given hourly, Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 3:00.
  • The tour is free, but reservations are recommended, especially in the summer.

kansas state capitol tours

Kansas State Capitol 8th Avenue Between Harrison / Van Buren Topeka, KS 66612

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kansas state capitol tours

Topeka Capitol Tours

The Kansas State Capitol has been through twelve years of restoration--with the work completed and the Capitol officially dedicated in a ceremony on Kansas Day, January 29, 2014. The building has been reopened to tours:

Building hours:

-- 8 AM to 5 PM, Mon.-Fri.; 8 AM to 1 PM Sat.; closed Sundays and state holidays.

Historic Tours:

-- Jan.- May: 9/10/11 AM, 1/2/3 PM, Mon.-Fri.

-- Jun.- Dec.: 9/11 AM, 1/3 PM, Mon.-Fri.

Over 50 thousand people have taken a dome tour at the Kansas State Capitol since dome tours were reintroduced in January 2006. The 296 steps of this spectacular tour literally takes the breath away.

Dome Tours:

 Jan.-Dec.: 9:30/10:15/11:15 AM, 12:15/1:15/2:15/3:15 PM, Mon.-Fri.

The Kansas Capitol has limited underground parking for visitors. There is no fee to enter the Capitol during business hours. Tours are provided by the Kansas Historical Society.

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Capitol Tour Highlights

Take a free historic building tour or a free dome tour weekdays. Tours last approximately 40 minutes.  Make a reservation  online or by phone at 785.296.3966. Can't make it to a tour? Pick up a self-guided tour brochure from the Capitol Visitors Center and explore on your own. 

Don't miss these 10 tour highlights!

New Dome and Old Dome

The old copper dome, which became coated with a green patina over time, has been replaced with new copper, which will keep its shiny penny color for 40 to 50 years. Get a close-up look at a large dome window - removed from the outer dome during the restoration - in the northeast room of the ground level by the dining room.

Ad Astra on the Kansas Statehouse

A sculpture of a Kansa Indian warrior aiming an arrow to the North Star was placed on top of the dome in 2002. The title of the statue, "Ad Astra," is taken from the state motto, Ad Astra per Aspera, which means "to the stars through difficulties." Hollow cast of silicon bronze, Ad Astra is 22 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 4,420 pounds.

Changing light bulbs in rotunda chandelier Kansas Statehouse

Part of the stunning skyward view from the center rotunda, a replica of the original chandelier has been installed. The original fixture was removed and donated to a scrap metal drive during World War II. The chandelier can be lowered all the way to the rotunda floor for maintenance and repair, as in the picture above.

Tragic Prelude by John Steuart Curry Kansas Statehouse

The Capitol contains many impressive  murals , but "Tragic Prelude" by  John Steuart Curry  is the most famous. The painting features the larger-than-life abolitionist John Brown, with arms outstretched, holding a gun and a Bible and surrounded by proslavery and anti-slavery forces. Often used as an illustration to pre-Civil War struggles in Kansas, this mural has been used in many history books and as album art for the 1974 self-titled album from the rock band Kansas.

a mural in the House of Representatives

During the renovation, beautiful frescoed ceiling murals were discovered under layers of paint. The murals - representing justice, history, law and liberty - were probably painted over to eliminate the cost of maintaining the art. They have been restored now for all to enjoy. Learn more about the House of Representatives Hall . 

State Library Kansas Statehouse

Housed in the east wing - the oldest section of the Capitol - the  ornate Senate Chamber  is decked out in cherry wood, bronze and copper columns and stately marble. Rich in details, the massive columns were hand-cast in Italy and the unique plaster ceiling was inspired by Egyptian design.

Even before Kansas' official statehood, the State Library served as a depository of legal and historical documents and as a ready resource to the executive and legislative branches of Kansas government. Today, the State Library serves as a resource to all. Don't miss walking on the original glass floors on the library's second story. 

Overmyer mural in Kansas Capitol

Many murals, statues and photographs line the halls of the Statehouse illustrating important points in Kansas history. In the first floor rotunda, find David H. Overmyer's eight scenes from Kansas history including  The Coming of the Spaniards , pictured above. Eight scenes in the second floor rotunda by  Lumen Martin Winter  depict history, agriculture, industry and education.  Pete Felten created four sculptures of famous Kansans that are displayed in the second floor rotunda of Arthur Capper, Amelia Earhart, Dwight Eisenhower and William Allen White. A stroll around the capitol grounds reveal several sculptures including two by Robert Merrell Gage:  Abraham Lincoln: Man of Sorrows and The Pioneer Mother and Child.

shoppers at the Capitol Store

The Capitol Store features great Kansas-made gifts and souvenirs including books, photographs, collectibles, jewelry, toys and food products. Available only at the  Capitol Store , take home a piece of the old Capitol dome in the form of fine jewelry, art and collectibles made from copper that was removed. Kansas artists have created one-of-kind works of art from that familiar green copper that was part of the Topeka skyline.

Kansas Capitol Visitor Center

The new Capitol Visitor Center connects the new public entrance with the historic Statehouse and displays objects from the Kansas State Historical Society including John Brown's sword, the Wyandotte Constitution and photos of famous Kansans. An auditorium and classroom have been added to accommodate the many group tours conducted in the Capitol. To make room for the visitor center, construction workers dug below the building to expand what was previously a basement. Watch for the transition from new, smooth limestone, to old textured stone as you walk into heart of the building.

Tours of the Capitol grounds are now available

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Tours of the inside of the State Capitol are offered daily. But this summer marks the beginning of tours of the grounds.

The tours focus on the monuments and history people may not know much about. Some of the statues shown during the tours have been on the grounds since the early 1900s, such as the statue of Sakakawea, which has been at the Capitol since 1910.

“I think it’s just really fun to get out here and actually walk the loop. We have such beautiful grounds, and I want to try and share some of that,” said Cindy Solberg, lead tour guide at the Capitol. “Maybe, like I said, educate some people on a little bit of the history of some of the grounds.”

The next tour of the Capitol grounds is scheduled to be on Aug. 12 at 6 p.m.

Copyright 2024 KFYR. All rights reserved.

kansas state capitol tours

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Love Exploring

Love Exploring

This Is The Most Beautiful Building In Every State

Posted: July 19, 2023 | Last updated: October 22, 2023

From significant government establishments to historic residences and even train stations, this diverse collection of constructions has been deemed the most beautiful in the country. Thanks to research compiled by Angi, based on TripAdvisor rankings, we take a look at the most attractive building in every state. Did your favorite make the final list?

Awe-inspiring architecture

Known for its stained-glass windows, which were imported from Europe and include depictions of Jesus, Mary and various saints, The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture. It was finished in 1850 and is Alabama's oldest Catholic cathedral. It was also the site of the first Catholic mass in the state.

Alabama: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Mobile

This is the oldest Russian Orthodox cathedral in North America. Built in 1848 by Russian settlers, the cathedral is known for its green onion domes and an abundance of icons decorating the walls inside. It's open to visitors and offers tours that give an insight into the history and culture of the longstanding Russian Orthodox community in Alaska.

Alaska: St Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Sitka

<p>Blending into the surrounding red rocks, this chapel was built in 1956 by visionary architect and sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude. It was designed to reflect the spiritual essence of the Sedona landscape. Staude was inspired by the powerful steel frameworks of skyscrapers – a theme that's explored with its central iron cross, which serves both a structural support and aesthetic purpose. The striking design is rounded off with a 210-foot-tall (64m) central nave and windowed altar.</p>  <p><strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/loveexploringUK?utm_source=msn&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=front">Love this? Follow us on Facebook for more travel inspiration</a></strong></p>

Arizona: Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona

Blending into the surrounding red rocks, this chapel was built in 1956 by visionary architect and sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude. It was designed to reflect the spiritual essence of the Sedona landscape. Staude was inspired by the powerful steel frameworks of skyscrapers – a theme that's explored with its central iron cross, which serves both a structural support and aesthetic purpose. The striking design is rounded off with a 210-foot-tall (64m) central nave and windowed altar.

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Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie School architecture, the 1980-built Thorncrown Chapel appears to be at one with its natural Ozarks surroundings. It's known for its eye-catching appearance, which features 425 windows set into a wooden frame, and was designed by architect Euine Fay Jones to reflect the landscape. That abundance of glass gives it a spacious, open-air feel.

Arkansas: Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs

An impressive Spanish Colonial Revival building, Santa Barbara's courthouse is a feast of red-tiled roofs, white stucco walls, intricate wrought-iron features and murals and mosaics that depict the region's history. One of its most notable features is the 85-foot-tall (26m) clock tower that's open to visitors and offers gorgeous views over the city and the Santa Ynez Mountains.

California: Santa Barbara County Courthouse, Santa Barbara

Located in the heart of Denver, this magnificent building was completed in 1894. Built in a Neoclassical style, the Capitol's stunning gold dome rises 272 feet (83m) and was covered in gold leaf in 1908 to commemorate the Colorado Gold Rush. Inside, visitors can admire the intricate marble work, wood paneling and stained-glass windows. Free guided tours are available and include a visit to both chambers for a peek at the state's legislative process.

Colorado: Colorado State Capitol, Denver

Sat on a hill overlooking Hartford, the Connecticut State Capitol is an example of a very specific architectural style: Eastlake, a Victorian movement which was briefly popular towards the end of the 19th century. The building was completed in 1878 and features one of the largest masonry domes in the world, measuring over 250 feet (76m) in circumference. It's adorned with gold leaf and weighs more than 7,000 pounds (3,175kg).

Connecticut: Connecticut State Capitol, Hartford

<p>A perfect example of why historic preservation matters, this gorgeous Beaux-Arts building was originally finished in 1871 but has recently undergone major renovation and modernisation. The interior is just as impressive, with over 1,200 seats in an auditorium that's reached via a grand staircase through the lobby. It's a beloved institution and has hosted opera, ballet and live music, with Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra among those taking to the stage.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/156930/these-are-the-worlds-most-spectacular-opera-houses"><strong>These are the world's most spectacular opera houses</strong></a></p>

Delaware: Grand Opera House, Wilmington

A perfect example of why historic preservation matters, this gorgeous Beaux-Arts building was originally finished in 1871 but has recently undergone major renovation and modernisation. The interior is just as impressive, with over 1,200 seats in an auditorium that's reached via a grand staircase through the lobby. It's a beloved institution and has hosted opera, ballet and live music, with Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra among those taking to the stage.

These are the world's most spectacular opera houses

<p>Built for John B. Stetson, the inventor of the Stetson hat, this Florida mansion was finished in 1886 and features 16 distinct rooms across more than 8,000 square feet (743sqm) of living space. Apart from ornate woodwork and stained-glass windows, the mansion has a few surprises up its sleeve. Those who join a tour will be shown to a hidden door, among other unique features. The house was also home to writer and poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning and even featured on TV show <em>Ghost Hunters</em>.</p>

Florida: Stetson Mansion, DeLand

Built for John B. Stetson, the inventor of the Stetson hat, this Florida mansion was finished in 1886 and features 16 distinct rooms across more than 8,000 square feet (743sqm) of living space. Apart from ornate woodwork and stained-glass windows, the mansion has a few surprises up its sleeve. Those who join a tour will be shown to a hidden door, among other unique features. The house was also home to writer and poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning and even featured on TV show  Ghost Hunters .

<p>This cathedral in Savannah has a striking Gothic facade that's hard to miss. It was built in 1873 and its exterior is adorned with intricate carvings, statues and stained glass. On the inside, soaring vaulted ceilings and a great pipe organ awe most visitors. </p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/gallerylist/158262/ranked-georgias-most-charming-small-towns"><strong>These are Georgia's most charming small towns</strong></a></p>

Georgia: Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Savannah

This cathedral in Savannah has a striking Gothic facade that's hard to miss. It was built in 1873 and its exterior is adorned with intricate carvings, statues and stained glass. On the inside, soaring vaulted ceilings and a great pipe organ awe most visitors. 

These are Georgia's most charming small towns

Evoking a mythical Japanese land, this non-denominational temple is in fact found on the island of O'ahu in Hawaii. It was constructed in 1968 to mark a century since the first Japanese immigrants arrived in Hawaii and is a replica of a thousand-year-old temple of the same name in Uji, Japan. Typically, the temple is open to visitors daily.

Hawaii: Byodo-In Temple, Kaneohe

<p>One of the oldest operating temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (informally known as the Mormon Church), the Idaho Falls Temple was opened in 1945 and is a stunning example of Art Deco architecture. The white granite facade appears to glisten in daylight, while its spire, topped by a golden statue of the Angel Moroni, stands 143 feet tall (44m). Although it's an active place of worship, visitors can take a tour of the temple grounds and learn about the history of the fascinating building and the church.</p>

Idaho: Idaho Falls Temple & Visitors Centre, Idaho Falls

One of the oldest operating temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (informally known as the Mormon Church), the Idaho Falls Temple was opened in 1945 and is a stunning example of Art Deco architecture. The white granite facade appears to glisten in daylight, while its spire, topped by a golden statue of the Angel Moroni, stands 143 feet tall (44m). Although it's an active place of worship, visitors can take a tour of the temple grounds and learn about the history of the fascinating building and the church.

<p>In a city where <a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/news/158871/what-to-do-in-chicago-architecture-robie-house-frank-lloyd-wright">great architecture abounds</a>, it's quite the accolade to be named the most beautiful building. That honor goes to the 19th-century Holy Name Cathedral, a Gothic Revival marvel. The cathedral's spire stands out at 210 feet (64m) and is a familiar sight in Chicago's skyscraper-punctuated skyline. A Catholic place of worship, the cathedral is just as majestic inside too, with wood carvings and stained glass on almost every wall.</p>

Illinois: Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago

In a city where great architecture abounds , it's quite the accolade to be named the most beautiful building. That honor goes to the 19th-century Holy Name Cathedral, a Gothic Revival marvel. The cathedral's spire stands out at 210 feet (64m) and is a familiar sight in Chicago's skyscraper-punctuated skyline. A Catholic place of worship, the cathedral is just as majestic inside too, with wood carvings and stained glass on almost every wall.

The only building on this list to be located on a university campus, this church from 1888 is part of the University of Notre Dame. Designed by French architect Father Edward Sorin (who also founded the university), the basilica is one of the most striking in the country. A famous feature is the statue of the Virgin Mary, which sits atop the main entrance – the Golden Dome Madonna, as it's known, serves as a symbol of the university too.

Indiana: Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame

Another stirring capitol building, this impressive structure was finished in 1886. Its footprint is dominated by an impressive dome that's covered in 23-carat gold leaf. Open to the public, the building offers self-guided tours that take visitors through the legislative chambers, the Supreme Court and the impressive Law Library. There are also breathtaking views to take in, if you ascend to the top of the dome.

Iowa: Capitol Building, Des Moines

<p>A marvelous building inside and out, the Kansas State Capitol was finished in 1903. Its central dome, topped by a bronze statue, is said to be visible from a mile away, but the building's most impressive feature lies inside. The rotunda is adorned with a mural that depicts key moments in the state's history, including the struggles of the Civil War. Self-guided tours are available to those who want to discover its grand hallways, marble staircases and ceremonial and legislative offices.</p>

Kansas: Kansas State Capitol Building, Topeka

A marvelous building inside and out, the Kansas State Capitol was finished in 1903. Its central dome, topped by a bronze statue, is said to be visible from a mile away, but the building's most impressive feature lies inside. The rotunda is adorned with a mural that depicts key moments in the state's history, including the struggles of the Civil War. Self-guided tours are available to those who want to discover its grand hallways, marble staircases and ceremonial and legislative offices.

<p>Built in 1910 to replace the earlier capitol building – which is still standing in downtown Frankfort and now serves as a museum – the new capitol is actually the fourth capitol building since Kentucky achieved statehood in 1792. It's a sprawling Beaux-Arts confection, with decorative lunettes above the chamber doors which depict significant historical moments in Kentucky. </p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/165832/southern-charm-50-cutest-small-towns-from-texas-to-tennessee?page=1"><strong>Southern charm: 50 of the cutest small towns, from Texas to Tennessee</strong></a></p>

Kentucky: New Capitol Building, Frankfort

Built in 1910 to replace the earlier capitol building – which is still standing in downtown Frankfort and now serves as a museum – the new capitol is actually the fourth capitol building since Kentucky achieved statehood in 1792. It's a sprawling Beaux-Arts confection, with decorative lunettes above the chamber doors which depict significant historical moments in Kentucky. 

Southern charm: 50 of the cutest small towns, from Texas to Tennessee

Somewhat reminiscent of a Cinderella castle, this dreamy cathedral is one of America's most famous places of worship. Finished in 1727 and brought to life by French engineer Adrien De Pauger, the original cathedral sadly burnt to the ground less than 60 years later. Its replacement took shape in 1794 and has been standing at the heart of New Orleans since then.

Louisiana: St Louis Cathedral, New Orleans

The rustic stone architecture might trick you into thinking that this quaint church is a lot older than it is. It was actually built in 1887, and it remains an important place of worship for the Catholic community in Maine. It's renowned for its 25 miniature stained-glass windows too. If you'd like to visit, note that the church is closed during winter.

Maine: Saint Ann's Church, Kennebunkport

Another beautiful example of Neoclassical architecture in America, this church was designed by the same architect who conceived the United States Capitol in Washington DC. Completed in 1821, the basilica was the first Roman Catholic cathedral to be built in the United States, and was also the site of the first Catholic bishop's consecration in the country. Since then, the cathedral has even hosted Pope John Paul II.

Maryland: The Baltimore Basilica, Baltimore

This historic 17th-century mansion in Salem was made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel of the same name, published in 1851. Named so for the seven gables that adorn the house, the building has an interesting history harking all the way back to the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s. Today, it's a popular tourist attraction and is even said to be haunted.

Massachusetts: The House of the Seven Gables, Salem

An Art Deco masterpiece, this 1920s building perfectly summarizes the golden age of Detroit. The exterior is made of Indiana limestone and features carvings, friezes and sculptures that evoke the spirit of Detroit's historic industries – automotive and manufacturing. Drawing inspiration from Aztec and Mayan cultures, architect Wirt C. Rowland achieved a look so distinct that the building is now a National Historic Landmark and a must-visit attraction in Detroit.

Michigan: The Guardian Building, Detroit

Looming over Minnesota's capital is the Cathedral of Saint Paul and its two soaring towers. Finished in 1915 and made of gray granite, the cathedral's exterior was inspired by the great churches of Europe, while the interior is as impressive with a grand central nave with stained-glass windows and richly-ornamented altars and chapels.

Minnesota: Cathedral of Saint Paul, St Paul

<p>Constructed from unusual red brick, this 1842 church is built in the Gothic Revival style. You'll find lots of flourishes in its interior, from ornate woodwork to carvings and other decorative elements on the altars. Don't forget to cast your eyes upwards at the glorious pastel-blue ceiling. Located in the heart of downtown Natchez, it's an active place of worship, open to visitors daily.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/147133/familyfriendly-us-road-trips-you-have-to-try?page=1"><strong>Family-friendly US road trips you have to try</strong></a></p>

Mississippi: St Mary Basilica, Natchez

Constructed from unusual red brick, this 1842 church is built in the Gothic Revival style. You'll find lots of flourishes in its interior, from ornate woodwork to carvings and other decorative elements on the altars. Don't forget to cast your eyes upwards at the glorious pastel-blue ceiling. Located in the heart of downtown Natchez, it's an active place of worship, open to visitors daily.

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<p>Often referred to as the New Cathedral to distinguish it from the original church that was destroyed by fire in 1849, this dazzling cathedral incorporates elements of both Gothic and Byzantine architecture. One of its most striking features is the two massive bell towers that rise 210 feet (64m) above ground. If that wasn't enough to impress you, the interior is even more awe-inspiring with a grand nave that features more than 40 million pieces of coloured glass in its mosaic ceiling. </p>

Missouri: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, St Louis

Often referred to as the New Cathedral to distinguish it from the original church that was destroyed by fire in 1849, this dazzling cathedral incorporates elements of both Gothic and Byzantine architecture. One of its most striking features is the two massive bell towers that rise 210 feet (64m) above ground. If that wasn't enough to impress you, the interior is even more awe-inspiring with a grand nave that features more than 40 million pieces of coloured glass in its mosaic ceiling. 

A beautiful example of Neo-Gothic architecture, the Cathedral of St Helena sits on a hill overlooking the city and the surrounding Rocky Mountains. Made of stone with two bell towers, the church was finished in 1914. Its interior is particularly impressive with lots of intricate gold detailing and vibrant stained-glass windows. The baptismal font (in the foreground of this image) adds a lovely splash of color.

Montana: Cathedral of St Helena, Helena

Unusually for a state capitol, this building has a distinctly Art Deco interior and exterior. Made of Indiana limestone, the building's most impressive feature is the central tower, rising 400 feet (122m) into the sky. Inside, there's a grand rotunda adorned by murals depicting the state's history, as well as a massive mural dedicated to the progress of human civilization by Hildreth Meiere.

Nebraska: Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln

<p>Dating back to 1868, this historic church in Virginia City has been a fixture in the community for over 150 years and is one of the oldest continuously-operating churches in the state. A beautiful Gothic Revival building, it's surprisingly simple on the inside, with ornamented altars and understated woodwork.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/155462/nevadas-most-beautiful-sights-and-attractions"><strong>Nevada's most beautiful sights and attractions</strong></a></p>

Nevada: St Mary in the Mountains Catholic Church, Virginia City

Dating back to 1868, this historic church in Virginia City has been a fixture in the community for over 150 years and is one of the oldest continuously-operating churches in the state. A beautiful Gothic Revival building, it's surprisingly simple on the inside, with ornamented altars and understated woodwork.

Nevada's most beautiful sights and attractions

<p>Also known as Lucknow, this historic estate was built in 1913 as the summer home of the millionaire industrialist Thomas Plant and his family. Its nickname draws inspiration from its location atop a mountain, opening up views of the surrounding countryside. Following the homely motifs of the Arts and Crafts movement, the building was also known for hosting parties of the most influential people of the time. Now, it's a popular events venue that's typically open to visitors. </p>

New Hampshire: Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough

Also known as Lucknow, this historic estate was built in 1913 as the summer home of the millionaire industrialist Thomas Plant and his family. Its nickname draws inspiration from its location atop a mountain, opening up views of the surrounding countryside. Following the homely motifs of the Arts and Crafts movement, the building was also known for hosting parties of the most influential people of the time. Now, it's a popular events venue that's typically open to visitors. 

Located in Cape May, this is one of the few Victorian-inspired buildings on our list. Built in 1879, the estate is named after its original owner Dr. Emlen Physick – one of Cape May's most prominent citizens. The estate comprises the main house, carriage house plus manicured gardens and grounds. Just like during its heyday, the estate regularly hosts a variety of cultural events, art exhibitions and festivals.

New Jersey: Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May

<p>Fusing Spanish, Native American and English influences, this unique building incorporates elements of various cultures that have been a part of New Mexico history. A striking Romanesque Revival building, its history dates back to the 16th century, when the Spanish built the first church in this spot. The current structure was finished in the late 19th century and one of its most striking aspects is the stained-glass windows, designed by artist John C. Beyer to depict scenes from the Bible and the lives of saints.</p>

New Mexico: Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe

Fusing Spanish, Native American and English influences, this unique building incorporates elements of various cultures that have been a part of New Mexico history. A striking Romanesque Revival building, its history dates back to the 16th century, when the Spanish built the first church in this spot. The current structure was finished in the late 19th century and one of its most striking aspects is the stained-glass windows, designed by artist John C. Beyer to depict scenes from the Bible and the lives of saints.

<p>Probably the most famous train station in the world, Grand Central Terminal really is grand. Opened in 1913, it features a ceiling fresco in the Main Concourse depicting the constellations of the zodiac and the building itself has been designated a National Historic Landmark due to its magnificent Beaux-Arts facade.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/gallerylist/158166/big-apple-secrets-the-unbelievable-history-of-new-york-city"><strong>Big Apple secrets: the unbelievable history of New York City</strong></a></p>

New York: Grand Central Terminal, New York City

Probably the most famous train station in the world, Grand Central Terminal really is grand. Opened in 1913, it features a ceiling fresco in the Main Concourse depicting the constellations of the zodiac and the building itself has been designated a National Historic Landmark due to its magnificent Beaux-Arts facade.

Big Apple secrets: the unbelievable history of New York City

<p>One of the country's most spectacular pieces of architecture, this Gilded Age mansion was constructed in 1889 by George Vanderbilt, grandson of the business magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. The largest residential home in the US, it spans nearly 180,000 square feet (16,722sqm) with more than 250 rooms. It took six years to finish. Visitors can tour the property and even spend the night in one of the historic cottages.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/94798/spectacular-american-castles-you-never-knew-existed"><strong>Spectacular American castles you never knew existed</strong></a></p>

North Carolina: Biltmore, Asheville

One of the country's most spectacular pieces of architecture, this Gilded Age mansion was constructed in 1889 by George Vanderbilt, grandson of the business magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. The largest residential home in the US, it spans nearly 180,000 square feet (16,722sqm) with more than 250 rooms. It took six years to finish. Visitors can tour the property and even spend the night in one of the historic cottages.

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Shooting to 19 storeys, the North Dakota State Capitol is the tallest building in the state. An impressively austere prairie-themed Art Deco structure, it was completed in 1934 and its distinctive design features a central tower that hosts an observation deck at the top. Inside, the Memorial Hall is an unmissable space with unique design features such as hanging lights shaped like wheat.

North Dakota: North Dakota State Capitol Building, Bismarck

<p>A rare example of a Tudor Revival building in the US, this eye-catching estate was built in the early 20th century by Goodyear Tire and Rubber company co-founder F. A. Seiberling. The estate comprises a 65-room manor house and gardens as well as an impressive art collection. Visitors can take a guided tour that snakes through the house and areas of the garden, as well as the Gate Lodge – the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous. Note that it is temporarily closed until 1 April.</p>

Ohio: Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, Akron

A rare example of a Tudor Revival building in the US, this eye-catching estate was built in the early 20th century by Goodyear Tire and Rubber company co-founder F. A. Seiberling. The estate comprises a 65-room manor house and gardens as well as an impressive art collection. Visitors can take a guided tour that snakes through the house and areas of the garden, as well as the Gate Lodge – the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous. Note that it is temporarily closed until 1 April.

<p>Completed in 1917, this building is a stunning example of Greco-Roman architecture. Thanks to a major restoration project, much work was done to modernize the building while maintaining its historic character. A steel-enforced and plaster cast dome tops off the spectacular construction. The building is open to public and visitors shouldn't miss the many artworks, murals and sculptures displayed throughout. The complex is also famous for its oil wells and, outside, you'll find the only state capitol grounds in the US with active oil rigs.</p>

Oklahoma: Oklahoma State Capitol, Oklahoma City

Completed in 1917, this building is a stunning example of Greco-Roman architecture. Thanks to a major restoration project, much work was done to modernize the building while maintaining its historic character. A steel-enforced and plaster cast dome tops off the spectacular construction. The building is open to public and visitors shouldn't miss the many artworks, murals and sculptures displayed throughout. The complex is also famous for its oil wells and, outside, you'll find the only state capitol grounds in the US with active oil rigs.

<p>Built by Henry and Georgina Pittock, two prominent Portland residents in the early 1900s, this mansion is a striking vision of French Renaissance architecture. Surrounded by nature, the mansion is open to the public, allowing visitors to explore multiple rooms, the Pittock family's private art collection and venture out into the landscaped gardens.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/79834/most-unusual-places-to-stay-in-the-world?page=1"><strong>The most unusual places to stay in the world</strong></a></p>

Oregon: Pittock Mansion, Portland

Built by Henry and Georgina Pittock, two prominent Portland residents in the early 1900s, this mansion is a striking vision of French Renaissance architecture. Surrounded by nature, the mansion is open to the public, allowing visitors to explore multiple rooms, the Pittock family's private art collection and venture out into the landscaped gardens.

The most unusual places to stay in the world

Hovering over cascading waterfalls, this multi-tiered house somehow blends in with its forest surroundings and brings the outside in with numerous terraces, walkways and wall-to-ceiling windows. Built in 1935, the house is often regarded as Frank Lloyd Wright's most accomplished design and is included in Smithsonian's list of 28 Places to See Before You Die. Both guided tours of the interior and self-guided tours of the grounds are available.

Pennsylvania: Fallingwater, Mill Run

For a sneak peak of the privileged lives of the wealthy during the Gilded Age, visit Newport's The Elms. The historic mansion was completed in 1901 for coal magnate Edward Berwind's family. The French Chateau-esque estate features impressive woodwork, tapestries and furnishings that reflect the family's luxurious lifestyle. Today, the mansion and its 10 acres of land are open for guided tours and it's a popular wedding venue too.

Rhode Island: The Elms, Newport

A French Gothic church built in 1896, Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist is a must-visit attraction in Charleston. Its soaring spire reaches a height of over 200 feet (61m), while closer to the ground there's stained glass windows, marble floors, ornate altars and a stunning pipe organ to admire. Built from Connecticut brownstone, the building was refurbished in 2007 and further interior renovations began in 2019. Pay a visit to pray, or simply to quietly contemplate the beauty of this church.

South Carolina: Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Charleston

<p>A unique church, reminiscent of fantastical Arendelle in <em>Frozen</em>, this wooden structure is actually based on a traditional Norwegian stave church. The chapel was finished in 1969 and is constructed entirely out of wood, featuring intricate carvings, including a hand-crafted altar and an antique pipe organ. Visitors can not only use it as a place of worship but also learn about the history and traditions of Norwegian stave churches – which they may not expect to do in a place as far away as South Dakota.</p>

South Dakota: Chapel in the Hills, Colonial Pine Hills

A unique church, reminiscent of fantastical Arendelle in  Frozen , this wooden structure is actually based on a traditional Norwegian stave church. The chapel was finished in 1969 and is constructed entirely out of wood, featuring intricate carvings, including a hand-crafted altar and an antique pipe organ. Visitors can not only use it as a place of worship but also learn about the history and traditions of Norwegian stave churches – which they may not expect to do in a place as far away as South Dakota.

You might be puzzled as to why a full-sized replica of the Parthenon sits in Nashville's Centennial Park. The answer is simple. The copycat attraction was constructed in the late 19th century to mark Tennessee's International Exposition in 1897. It became such a popular attraction that the state decided to make it permanent and today it's an art gallery, complete with a giant golden statue of the goddess Athena.

Tennessee: Nashville Parthenon, Nashville

A National Historic Landmark since 1986, this sprawling marvel (inspired by Italian Renaissance architecture) has been the political heart of Texas since 1888. Some of the building's most notable features include a grand dome, a stunning rotunda and Lone Star motifs emblazoned in its facade. The 22-acre complex includes several other lovely buildings, gardens and monuments.

Texas: Texas State Capitol, Austin

Home to the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, plus gardens, historic exhibits related to the religion and monuments, Temple Square is an unmissable Salt Lake City landmark. Its main feature is the Salt Lake Temple, whose Neo-Gothic spires seems to be piercing the sky. If visiting, you'll have to admire the church from the outside only – entrance is only permitted to Mormons who have been recommended to the temple.

Utah: Temple Square, Salt Lake City

Home of the Vermont General Assembly, the state's legislative body, the State House is a beautiful 1859 Greek Revival building. Its most noticeable feature is, of course, the gold leaf dome, sparkling in front of the leafy trees that are verdant in summer and burgundy in the fall. Guided tours take visitors through the House and Senate chambers as well as the governor's office. You'll be able to take in the impressive collection of historic portraits and art displayed throughout the building.

Vermont: Vermont State House, Montpelier

<p>The historic plantation home of America's First President George Washington, Mount Vernon is an immaculately-preserved, 21-room estate that draws in thousands of visitors more than two centuries after Washington's death. Museum displays explore the lives of the enslaved people who once lived and worked on the estate, while tours cover everything from farming techniques to life in 18th-century America.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/157022/ranked-virginias-most-charming-small-towns"><strong>Virginia's most charming small towns</strong></a></p>

Virginia: George Washington's Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon

The historic plantation home of America's First President George Washington, Mount Vernon is an immaculately-preserved, 21-room estate that draws in thousands of visitors more than two centuries after Washington's death. Museum displays explore the lives of the enslaved people who once lived and worked on the estate, while tours cover everything from farming techniques to life in 18th-century America.

Virginia's most charming small towns

The only modern marvel on this list, this impressive glass and steel building was opened in 2004. Designed by architect Rem Koolhas, it's 11 storeys tall and was designed to create an open and welcoming space for visitors with natural light and views of the city. Its most impressive feature is the Book Spiral, a continuous ramp that winds its way up through all levels of the building and provides access to the library's materials.

Washington: Seattle Public Library, Seattle

A Gothic Revival church finished in 1833, this church was the first Catholic place of worship to be built in West Virginia. The architecture is distinctly Catholic, while the interior is pared back. During the Civil War, the church was used as a hospital by both Confederate and Union soldiers and is the only church in Harpers Ferry that wasn't destroyed during the war.

West Virginia: St Peter's Roman Catholic Church, Harpers Ferry

<p>Built in a Neoclassical style we've seen in plenty of state capitol buildings on this list, this one was completed in 1917 and remains one of the state's most recognisable landmarks. The towering dome rises 187 feet (57m) and is made of white granite. At the top sits a statue of a globe-clutching lady known as Wisconsin, which represents the state's motto, 'Forward'. The two interior must-sees are the rotunda, modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, Italy and the Senate chamber, which is reminiscent of the Parthenon in Athens.</p>

Wisconsin: Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison

Built in a Neoclassical style we've seen in plenty of state capitol buildings on this list, this one was completed in 1917 and remains one of the state's most recognisable landmarks. The towering dome rises 187 feet (57m) and is made of white granite. At the top sits a statue of a globe-clutching lady known as Wisconsin, which represents the state's motto, 'Forward'. The two interior must-sees are the rotunda, modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, Italy and the Senate chamber, which is reminiscent of the Parthenon in Athens.

<p>Completed in 1890, the Wyoming State Capitol has been the heart of the state's political life for over a century. Grand and imposing, the exterior is dominated by a soaring dome, while the interior is equally as impressive, with grand staircases, ornate decorations and a rotunda modeled after the US Capitol in DC. If you take a tour, you'll see that the Senate chamber is adorned with paintings of Wyoming's early pioneers and other famous figures.</p>  <p><a href="https://www.loveexploring.com/galleries/112022/americas-newest-attractions-open-in-2021?page=1"><strong>Now discover America's newest attractions opening this year</strong></a></p>

Wyoming: Wyoming State Capitol, Cheyenne

Completed in 1890, the Wyoming State Capitol has been the heart of the state's political life for over a century. Grand and imposing, the exterior is dominated by a soaring dome, while the interior is equally as impressive, with grand staircases, ornate decorations and a rotunda modeled after the US Capitol in DC. If you take a tour, you'll see that the Senate chamber is adorned with paintings of Wyoming's early pioneers and other famous figures.

Now discover America's newest attractions opening this year

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Wolski's Tavern prepares to extend hours for Republican National Convention

MILWAUKEE — Tucked away in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Milwaukee sits Wolski’s Tavern. The historic bar has been in the community for more than a century. 

What You Need To Know

Wolski's tavern has been in the milwaukee community for 115 years the tavern plans to tentatively stay open until 4 a.m. the week of the rnc wolski's tavern is known for its "i closed wolskis" stickers.

PJ Johnson is a longtime bartender and said the crowd ranges from college students, locals and even tourists. Many stop in to grab a beer and get the famous “I closed Wolski’s” sticker. 

Johnson said he wasn’t surprised when organizers from the Republican National Convention reached out about delegates visiting during the week of the RNC. 

“I know that the Secret Service has been here,” said Johnson. “I think FBI has been here, capitol police has been here. It’s more so anticipating where people are going to go and checking out the scenarios for security issues. I think that’s great because everyone wants to be safe.”

Organizers are encouraging Wolski’s to stay open an additional two hours past its 2 a.m. close time. 

“We have scheduled bartenders until four but we don’t know if that’s necessary because if it’s not going to be busy at 2:30, we’re not going to have our bartenders stay open necessarily,” said Johnson.

As of right now, he said everything is up in the air because they’re unsure if the tavern will be getting a crowd or not.

“I don’t think we had to do it, but we’re entertaining the opportunity to do it just to see what’s going to happen,” said Johnson. “We might have a state or we might have an American Samoa. Who knows what road it’s going to be? I think they want places like us that are somewhat Milwaukee in its history to be a part of it.”

Regardless, he said he’s looking forward to the national attention Milwaukee is getting and is hopeful Wolski’s Tavern will be a stop visitors make.

Related Stories

Businesses outside security perimeter look ahead to potential boost in profits during rnc edelweiss cruises to offer boat tours in port washington during rnc vendors, convention bureaus work to showcase wisconsin during rnc.

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kansas state capitol tours

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  1. Kansas State Capitol

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  2. Tour the Kansas State Capitol

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  3. Wandering His Wonders: Kansas. The. Best. State. Capitol. Tour. Ever

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  4. Kansas State Capitol

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  5. Tour the Kansas State Capitol

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  6. The Kansas State Capitol after recent renovations. Topeka, Kansas

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COMMENTS

  1. Kansas State Capitol

    Capitol Self-guided tours Visitors unable to take a guided tour are invited to use these self-guided tour materials to enhance their visit. Plan your visit in advance with information on parking, building hours, and more. Self-Guided Tour of the Kansas State Capitol; Capitol Bingo - Print them out before your visit or use your phone or tablet ...

  2. Kansas State Capitol

    To schedule a tour contact 785-296-3966 or [email protected]. Tours last approximately 40 minutes. Cost is free during scheduled times. Maximum group size is 30. Reservations are not required for groups of 10 or fewer. Walk-up visitors will be accommodated as space is available.

  3. Kansas State Capitol

    Tour is free, size is limited due to space regulations. Tours are provided by the Kansas Historical Society. A range of tour themes is available. ADA accessible. Please notify us prior to your visit if you or a member of your party requires accommodation for special needs or disabilities. To schedule, call 785-296-3966.

  4. Kansas State Capitol Visitor Center

    The Kansas State Capitol recently completed a 13-year, top to bottom restoration of the building that restored the original architect's vision by uncovering beautiful murals, preserving original features, renovating aging limestone, and expanding workspace. Self Guided Tours Self-guided tours are available during regular hours at the Kansas State Capitol, but reservations are strongly ...

  5. Kansas State Capitol

    Tours are free at the Kansas State Capitol and take place several times a day Monday - Saturday. TOURS Tours are free at the Kansas State Capitol, but reservations are strongly encouraged, especially between January and May. The size of the tour group is limited due to space regulations. ENTRY Park for free in the parking garage on the north ...

  6. Kansas State Capitol Dome Tour

    The Kansas State Capitol Dome tours were halted for several years while the building had $330,000,000 of renovation, but tours resumed February 3, 2014. The tours take about 40 minutes. Visitors take a classic 1923 cage elevator to the 5th floor, where the tour begins. There are 296 steps from there to the top of the outer dome.

  7. Get High At Kansas State Capitol On A Tour Of Its Dome!

    Every floor is stunning and holds history and artwork that will give you a glimpse of past and present Kansas. Tour Details: Tours are run by Kansas Historical Society. They are conducted from Monday through Friday every hour. Here is the schedule: 9:15, 10:15, 11:15 a.m., 12:15, 1:15, 2:15, 3:15 p.m. Tours are free!

  8. Kansas State Capitol

    The best free attraction in the Kansas State Capital is the Kansas State Capitol Building in Topeka, Kansas. The Capitol is open to visitors from 8AM - 5PM, Monday through Friday and 10AM - 1PM on Saturday, with free tours conducted by the State Historical Society 4 - 6 times during the day on weekdays. The hours posted above are subject to ...

  9. KANSAS CAPITOL: Ultimate Guide to the Statehouse of the Sunflower State

    After 37 years, the Statehouse was completed. Fun Fact: In 1869, while construction was in full progress, government offices were moved to the new Capitol building from the Old Constitution Hall - which can still be viewed at 427-429 Kansas Avenue. Kansas architect John G. Haskell designed the Capitol in a classic-inspired architecture style.

  10. Tour the Kansas State Capitol

    The ornate Old Kansas Supreme Court in the south wing and State Library of Kansas in the north wing are equally impressive. Tours are given hourly, Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 3:00. The tour is free, but reservations are recommended, especially in the summer. Kansas State Capitol 8th Avenue Between Harrison / Van Buren Topeka, KS 66612.

  11. Kansas Statehouse

    The Statehouse is open to the public 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. The Capitol is closed on Sundays and state holidays. Free guided tours are offered Monday through Friday, but self-guided tours are available anytime the building is open.

  12. Topeka Capitol Tour

    Over 50 thousand people have taken a dome tour at the Kansas State Capitol since dome tours were reintroduced in January 2006. The 296 steps of this spectacular tour literally takes the breath away. Dome Tours: Jan.-Dec.: 9:30/10:15/11:15 AM, 12:15/1:15/2:15/3:15 PM, Mon.-Fri. The Kansas Capitol has limited underground parking for visitors.

  13. Tour the Capitol Dome

    Of the 50 states, Kansas is the only one with a capitol dome where visitors can climb all the way to the top and go outside, 10 feet or so beneath the bronze statue of a Kansa warrior that tops the 304 feet tall dome. ... When: Tours are run by the Kansas State Historical Society Monday through Friday: 9:15, 10:15, 11:15 a.m., 12:15, 1:15, 2:15 ...

  14. Capitol Tour Highlights

    The new Capitol Visitor Center connects the new public entrance with the historic Statehouse and displays objects from the Kansas State Historical Society including John Brown's sword, the Wyandotte Constitution and photos of famous Kansans. An auditorium and classroom have been added to accommodate the many group tours conducted in the Capitol.

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  19. Wolski's Tavern prepares to extend hours for RNC

    MILWAUKEE — Tucked away in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Milwaukee sits Wolski's Tavern. The historic bar has been in the community for more than a century. PJ Johnson is a longtime bartender and said the crowd ranges from college students, locals and even tourists. Many stop in to grab a ...

  20. Kansas State Capitol

    Kansas State Capitol - Online tour . Take an online tour of the magnificent Kansas State Capitol, floor by floor. The classically inspired building is an impressive public monument as well as the working offices for the governor and legislators. The building holds a dramatic array of art, architecture, and colorful Kansas history. ...

  21. Kansas State Capitol

    6425 SW 6th Avenue · Topeka, KS 66615-1099 · 785-272-8681 · kshs.org · Contact the webmaster © 2024 The Kansas Historical Society. http://www.kshs.org/capitol

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  28. PDF Self-Guided Tour of the Kansas State Capitol

    The Kansas State Capitol Visitor Center is operated by the Kansas Historical Society, a state agency. The Capitol Store is operated by the Kansas Historical Foundation. Kansas Historical Society • 6425 SW 6th Avenue Topeka KS 66615 • 785-272-8681 • kshs.org A dramatic view of the inner dome on our guided dome tour.