If you’re planning a trip to Austin, make time to see the Texas State Capitol. You won’t regret it.
The present Capitol wasn’t the first. In 1839, the government of the brand-new Republic of Texas (did you know that Texas once was an independent republic?) built a two-room log cabin with an 8 feet stockade to defend against Indian attacks. Later, a limestone capitol was erected, but no one liked it. The current building was dedicated in 1888.
The Texas State Capitol is taller than the US Capitol by 14.6 feet
Go to the Texas Capitol Visitors Center first thing to get brochures and have a look at the exhibitions. Look out for the star of the original Goddess, which contains a time capsule.
The magnificent rotunda lies under the interior dome 218 feet in the air. The sheet metal star on the floor measures 8 feet from point to point. Around the star, you’ll see the seals of the nations that governed Texas throughout its history: the Kingdom of Spain, the Kingdom of France, the United Mexican States, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America.
When it opened, there was only one restroom for ladies, called the “Ladies Retiring Room,” on the third floor.
The Senate Chamber is located on the second floor of the east wing. It has original walnut desks and podium. You can sit in the upper gallery.
The House of Representatives Chamber is the largest room and is the second floor of the west wing. It was restored to what it looked like in 1909. Behind the rostrum hangs the flag used in the decisive Battle of San Jacinto during the Texas Revolution.
The architect found inspiration for the Goddess of Liberty that crowns the building in the Statue of Liberty, the Statue of Freedom on the US Capitol, and the Greek goddess Pallas Athenea.
22 acres of beautiful grounds surround the Texas State Capitol. Wander around the monuments and you’ll get a free Texas history lesson!
Some of the monuments
- The Terry’s Texas Rangers Memorial (the 8th Texas Cavalry) was erected in 1907 by surviving comrades.
- The Texas Cowboy (1925)
- The Texas African American History memorial (2016)
- The Tejano monument (2012) tells the story of Spanish and Mexican explorers from the 1500s onwards.
- Vietnam Veteran Monument (2014)
THE TEXAS CAPITOL 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, Texas 78701