Tennessee State Capitol Virtual Walking Tour • Marshall Ogier

Tennessee State Capitol

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Tennessee State Capitol

tennessee state capitol building tours

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Linda B

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tennessee state capitol building tours

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Nomad by Trade

Touring the Tennessee State Capitol Building

North America , Tennessee , United States

Statue on the Tennessee State Capitol Grounds

I have a weird fascination with visiting state capitols, so when I found myself with an unexpected afternoon in Nashville, I headed in for a visit. It’s a great activity if you’re looking for free things to do in Nashville or if you’re a just a history buff. The Capitol is located near Broadway Street, and can be easily reached on foot from the main tourist area. You can visit the Tennessee State Capitol building by yourself or as part of a free guided tour during opening hours, so head on over and check out the beautiful architecture. The Capitol building was constructed just prior to the Civil War and has all of the gorgeous touches you’d expect from a grand government building from that era. You’ll even find the tomb of the architect on site, as he was buried right in his own creation after dying during construction.

Statue on the steps of the Tennessee State Capitol

Guided tours of the Tennessee State Capitol

You can take a free Tennessee State Capitol tour on weekdays on the hour from 9-11 and 1-3 pm. Visitors can meet at the information desk on the main floor right across from the visitor entrance. The tours last a little under an hour and give you the history of the building and some of the most important rooms. Groups of 10 or more can make tour reservations, but everyone else can just drop in when they’re able to. A tour guide will walk you through all of the main rooms and chamber in the building and give you some history about the sights you’re viewing.

Visiting the Tennessee State Capitol without a tour

I happened to hit the capitol during a time when there were no tours available (noon aka lunchtime – the tour guide has to eat too). I decided to explore on my own with the help of a visitor’s guide with a numbered map showing important locations. I tend to prefer wandering at my own pace anyway, so I was perfectly happy to visit the Capitol without a tour. The brochure was one of the better ones I’ve gotten from various state capitols and had explanations of the functions of various important rooms as well as some history about the history of the capitol building.

The Tennessee Senate Chamber

Tennessee Senate Chamber viewed from above

You can visit the Senate Chamber two different ways if the Senate isn’t in session at the time. I was able to walk in at the ground level to see the relatively small room, though visitors are only allowed in the very back. Afterward, I discovered that the gallery was also open, so I climbed the long staircase up a level to see it from above too. I liked the view much better from up there.

The Tennessee House Chamber

The House Chamber can also be visited if the House isn’t in session at the time. Just like the Senate Chamber, you can enter the very back of the room, though the House Chamber is much larger. You can then climb another long staircase to get up to the gallery and see even more of the room. It’s cool to see the touches of technology in the room that otherwise looks very much like it’s from a different century.

Tennessee House of Representatives Chamber as viewed from above

A post-Civil War bullet hole

One of the interesting spots pointed out in the guide was a mark on one of the huge banisters from a bullet that was fired during the debate surrounding the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment after the Civil War. For more info on that, check out this great story about how there came to be a pockmark from a bullet in the railing that’s been left unrepaired for over 150 years.

The Capitol Library

Ornately decorated spiral staircase in the Tennessee Capitol Library

I love libraries, so this was my favorite room in the state capitol. I really wanted to climb the gorgeous spiral staircase, but sadly, it was barricaded off. I was unable to let my library nerd fly free, but it was happy just to enjoy the beautiful décor.

The Tennessee State Capitol grounds

Out on the grounds surrounding the Tennessee State Capitol, you’ll find tributes to the Tennesseans who’ve served as president. Statues honoring Andrews Jackson and Johnson can be found, and the other Tennessee native to occupy the White House, James Polk, is buried on the grounds with his wife.

Various other memorials dot the grounds commemorating individuals and tragedies. If you take your time to explore, you’ll find a Holocaust Commission memorial as well as one for Africans on the Middle Passage (the journey enslaved Africans endured on their way across the Atlantic), which is especially important here as slave labor was used for some of the construction of the Capitol building. If you’re into architecture, you can also view broken columns and limestone fragments that were removed during a renovation.

Statue in front of the Tennessee State Capitol Building

Tennessee State Capitol Hours

The Capitol building is open and accessible to the public from 8-4 Monday-Friday. If the legislature is in session, the building’s hours may be extended to allow public viewing of the Senate and House. The building is closed on weekends and public holidays.

Getting to the Tennessee State Capitol

The Capitol Building is located just blocks from the main tourist area on Broadway, so parking is a little tricky. I managed to find a metered spot on the street just a couple of blocks away after circling around a few times, but it wasn’t easy. There were several garages around, but I didn’t want to pay the full flat rate for only a couple of hours. Once you’re parked, the building is easy to find as it’s located atop a hill. Look for the dramatic giant dome and head toward it.

Numerous bus routes have stops within two blocks of the Capitol, so getting there via public transportation should be a breeze. You’ll be able to take bus lines 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 33, 34, 36, 37, 42, 43, 44, 52, 60, 61, and the Megabus will all get you close. Check out the bus maps and routes here .

You can also easily walk to the Tennessee State Capitol from the main touristy area on Broadway. It’s a little over half a mile away and can be done in about fifteen minutes. Visitors enter on the west side of the building and must pass through a security screening before entering. Find out more information on the official website here .

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Tennessee state capitol entrance with text overlay

This post is interesting and I was particularly intrigued to read about the Holocaust Commission memorial and the slave labor. Thanks for including details of public transport..it is these small details which matter to budget family travelers like us 🙂

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tennessee state capitol building tours

Terms and Conditions & Disclaimer

Book a Tour

Reservations are recommended .

The Capitol Visitor Center is open Monday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tours begin every 10 minutes until 3:20 p.m. All tours are led by our professional tour guides and visit the  Crypt , the  Rotunda  and  National Statuary Hall . The tour does not include the  Senate and House Galleries . The tour route is subject to change.

Reservations are recommended, but not required. Visit the  schedule a tour  page to select a day/time for a reservation. Same day passes may be available. Visitors without reservations are encouraged to arrive at the Capitol Visitor Center as early in the day as possible, but no later than 2:30 p.m., to obtain passes.

All tours, programs and activities are free of charge.

Visitors enter through the Capitol Visitor Center, located underground on the east side of the Capitol. Please leave time to go through security and review the U.S. Capitol’s  prohibited items list  before your visit.

You can begin your Capitol experience at the Visitor Center by visiting Exhibition Hall , perusing our Gift Shops or getting a bite to eat at the Capitol Cafe.

For information on tours offered in Mandarin and Spanish, please view the Foreign Language Tours page.

How Do I Cancel My Reservation?

You can cancel your reservation through your account in the Capitol Visitor Center’s online reservation system.

  • Go to  https://tours.visitthecapitol.gov  (A new page will open.)
  • Beneath the blue banner reading “Reserve a Tour of the Capitol,” click on the link to log in. (A sign in/signup dialog box will open.)
  • In the sign in section, log in with your email address and password.
  • Search for reservations by clicking “More” in the “My Reservations” tab.
  • Once you have located your reservation, click the link to “Cancel.”

People in hall

IMAGES

  1. Tennessee State Capitol

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  2. Tennessee State Capitol Tours

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  3. Tennessee State Capitol Tours

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  4. A Guide To Tennessee State Capitol

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  5. Tennessee State Capitol Building in Nashville, Tennessee

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  6. Touring the Tennessee State Capitol Building • Nomad by Trade

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COMMENTS

  1. Visit the TN Capitol

    The Tennessee State Capitol stands today much as it did when it first opened in 1859, and is a magnificent tribute to the people of Tennessee. ... Visitors can take a 45-minute guided tour of the Capitol starting at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 a.m., 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. Central Time (limit 15 people per tour) at the first-floor information desk. ...

  2. State Capitol

    The Tennessee State Capitol stands today much as it did when it first opened in 1859, and is a magnificent tribute to the people of Tennessee. The Capitol welcomes visitors for guided and self-guided tours. Scroll down for a short history of the building. Guided Tour: Visitors can take a 45-minute guided tour of the Capitol Monday through ...

  3. Field Trips

    On a guided tour of the Tennessee State Capitol, you will join an educator on a 45-minute long guided tour. The tour will cover the history of the state of Tennessee, the functions of state and local government, and interesting stories about the building itself. Tours start at: 9:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 3:00 PM

  4. Tennessee State Capitol, Nashville

    A: A Tennessee State Capitol tour generally lasts 45 minutes to an hour, with options running throughout the day from Monday to Friday. Visitors have the opportunity to explore the historic building, learn about its architecture, and gain insights into the state's government and history.

  5. Tennessee State Capitol

    Address. 600 Capitol Blvd Nashville, TN 37243 615-741-0830. Get Directions. visit website. Neighborhood Historic Core. Hours. Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

  6. Tennessee State Capitol Tours

    Well, if that's true, our next stop could speak volumes.. Capitol tours are free and open to the public. Tennessee Crossroads tours the state capitol and finds that the walls can almost talk about its unusual history. Join Nashville Public Television's Tennessee Crossroads to find out more about Tennessee State Capitol Tours.

  7. Tennessee State Capitol

    The Tennessee State Capitol is modeled after an Ionic temple, incorporating Greek Revival architecture, and is composed of limestone quarried from nearby. It measures 112 by 239 ft (34 by 73 m), and is approximately 206.6 ft (63.0 m) tall. The north and south porticoes each contain eight Ionic columns, and the east and west porticoes, which do ...

  8. Tennessee State Capitol Virtual Walking Tour • Marshall Ogier

    The State Capitol stands today as a tribute to generations who came before us and as an important symbol of our continuing commitment to the values of democracy. The building is an architectural masterpiece, conceived by Tennesseans in the early years of our republic, and designed by one of America's foremost architects of the time. It is appropriate that it is also a place where the work of ...

  9. A Guide To Tennessee State Capitol

    Design of the Capitol Building. The Tennessee State Capitol first opened in 1859 and today looks much the same as it did back then. The beautiful structure is said to have been the crowning achievement of architect William Strickland. Regrettably, the architect died during its construction in 1954 and was buried in the Capitol in the north facade.

  10. Tennessee State Capitol

    One of the oldest working capitols in the United States, the Tennessee State Capitol serves as home of the Tennessee General Assembly and houses the governor's office. The building, one of 12 state capitols that does not have a dome, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and named a National Historic Landmark in 1971.

  11. Tennessee State Capitol, Nashville

    Tennessee State Capitol. 547 reviews. #41 of 376 things to do in Nashville. Government Buildings. Open now. 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Write a review. About. The grounds around this majestic neo-classical building offer statues of many historic figures, plus the graves of President Polk and his wife.

  12. Touring the Tennessee State Capitol Building • Nomad by Trade

    You can take a free Tennessee State Capitol tour on weekdays on the hour from 9-11 and 1-3 pm. Visitors can meet at the information desk on the main floor right across from the visitor entrance. The tours last a little under an hour and give you the history of the building and some of the most important rooms. Groups of 10 or more can make tour ...

  13. On-Site Field Trip Reservation

    Tennessee Furniture; STARS: Statewide Elementary Exhibition 2024; Remembrance: Military Representation Through Public Art at the State Capitol; Early Expressions: Art in Tennessee Before 1900; In Search of the New: Art in Tennessee Since 1900 (Temporarily Closed) Why Do Museums Collect; Online Exhibitions. The Tennessee Playlist: 95 Counties of ...

  14. Tennessee State Capitol Tours

    Senator Roberts frequently gives tours of Tennessee's historic Capitol to school and community groups. You can schedule a tour by calling his office at 615-741-4499. At least two weeks notice is helpful. If you have a school group, you may wish to tour the Capitol in the morning, eat lunch (see below), and tour the Tennessee State Museum after ...

  15. tennessee-state-capitol, nashville Tours & Activities

    This tour begins at the Tennessee State Capitol and will visit 7-8 haunted historical locations. You'll hear about ghosts, demons, and a few murders - some dating back over 200 years. ... See a breathtaking vantage point of the Nashville skyline, the Parthenon, the Tennessee State Capitol building, Bicentennial Mall, downtown Broadway, and more ...

  16. Plan Your Visit

    The Museum is open: Monday: Closed Tuesday-Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. The Museum is closed on New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. ADMISSION: Admission to the Tennessee State Museum is free. PARKING. Parking is available in the parking lot which is located between the Museum and the Nashville Farmers ...

  17. Bicentennial Mall

    In-person Tours: Our on-site tours of the park begin at the Visitors' Center, on the corner of 6th Ave N. and Harrison St., underneath the train bridge. We'll look at the park's Map Plaza and River Fountains before heading into the park. The tour goes over each of our monuments and memorials, including the state World War II Memorial, as ...

  18. The Haunted Tennessee State Capitol

    Tennessee State Capitol History. The Tennessee State Capitol is the seat of government for the state, home to the Tennessee General Assembly, and the governor's office. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971, the site was once occupied by the first Roman Catholic Cathedral in the city. The Capitol's construction began in 1845 and was ...

  19. Visitor Guide

    Others State Museum sites: Tennessee State Capitol. Military Branch of the Tennessee State Museum. Admission and Hours: There is no admission charge to the State Museum. Hours for the Museum are: ... Tours of exhibition areas are available for groups of 10 or more and must be booked in advance by calling the Education Department at (615) 741-0830.

  20. Book a Tour

    The Capitol Visitor Center is open Monday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tours begin every 10 minutes until 3:20 p.m. All tours are led by our professional tour guides and visit the Crypt, the Rotunda and National Statuary Hall. The tour does not include the Senate and House Galleries. The tour route is subject to change.