The Pennsylvania State Capitol is located in downtown Harrisburg, and where the state of Pennsylvania is ruled from. The home of the state government of the Keystone State.
Opened in 1906, as this building replaced the previous one, which was destroyed by a fire in 1897. Theodore Roosevelt has declared it as "the handsomest Capitol I ever saw" at the dedication ceremony. There is the plaque that marked the spot where he stood when saying that. After seeing this one, I could see why.
There are 2 ways to enter, either on the east or west side of the capitol complex. I would enter from the west side of the building, through its bronze doors, which are worth looking at. This is where you come to the Capitol Rotunda, with its dome, which was modeled after St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome. There are displays of items there, including all the US flags from the Civil War.
There is the option to see the capitol building, either by yourself, or on a guided tour. If deciding to see it on your own, you should get a brochure that gives the tour to the different parts of the building. It will take you to the Chambers of the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as the Governor's Office. There is the PA Supreme Court, but unfortunately it was closed off. There are artwork in each of these rooms, depicting history, from artists like Edwin Austin Abbey and Violet Oakley.
There is the East Wing, which was added in 1987. This part looks more like a lobby of a shopping mall or office building. And where the gift shop is located. There is the Welcome Center, which is a small museum on the history of Pennsylvania.
Definitely take the time to look at the exterior of the building, seeing its green dome. And a gold statue known as Commonwealth, at the top of the dome. Really nice and very grand to see. Plus the fountain, which is dedicated to the Pennsylvania veterans. There is more to see than I can mention in this review.
Whether you take the option of a guided tour, or see it on your own, this capitol building would definitely be enough reason to come to Harrisburg. The architecture and the artwork around this place are just amazing to look at. Even better, admission is free.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.