Virginia State Capital

1000 Bank St, Richmond

I-95 Exit 74C, Virginia


Click on photo to enlarge

This imposing Classical Revival capitol was built in 1788, designed by Thomas Jefferson (see his builder’s model in the Jefferson room), who based it on Maison Caree in Nimes, France.

The statue of George Washington standing under the hidden dome is by Jean-Antoine Houdon, and is the only one he posed for - including having done a life mask for it. It is life size (all 6’2 1/2”, 210 lbs of him) and made of Italian Carrera marble. If you look closely, you can see he is missing 2 buttons from his vest (oh Martha!).

Before the Civil War, Robert E Lee was asked by both the North and the South to lead their forces. He supposedly stood in the rotunda, having to make peace with this statue of his hero, George Washington, before walking the paces into the legislature and declaring that he could never take a sword against his fellow Virginians.

FREE Tours Mon-Sat 8-5, Sun 1-5.