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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Texas State Capitol

I somehow forgot to blog the photos from our Texas State Capitol tour when we were in Austin a few weekends ago. One of my favorite things is how beautiful the surrounding grounds are with some oak trees that must be over 100 years old.

Like everything it Texas, it is GIGANTIC! See those tiny little people over there on the left? It was also the tallest building in Austin for decades. According to wiki, it's the largest state capitol by square footage, 2nd tallest in the country, and taller than the National capitol building in DC.

Did you know that we didn't pay to have it built? We just traded 3 million acres of land to some businessmen who formed the largest cattle ranch in the world. The Lady Liberty on top is 16' tall & rumored to be quite ugly if you see her facial features.

I've visited it several times when living there, but it had been years since H had toured the capitol. I've seen at least a dozen other state capitols in all my travels, and I still think ours is the most beautiful! Isn't he a good hubby for carrying my camera bag?

The entrance is adorned with all the important battles that have taken place on Texas soil- some for the Texas Revolution, some for the Mexican War and some for the Civil War.

I love the feel of this old vault area, which was now being used as office space.

The capitol is just full of gorgeous details and intricate craftsmanship everywhere. I loved the walls and ceilings, all the etched glass doors, the beautiful banisters and stairs, and all the inlaid floors throughout the capital.

One of my favorite things is the rotunda and dome. The walls of the lower rotunda are filled with portraits of past Presidents of Texas and Governors.

We were able to visit both the Texas Senate Chambers and the Texas House of Representatives Chamber.

Everything here is all about Texas. From these lights....

to these lights... They were initially gas burning & we weren't too sure if this electricity things was going to be a permanent thing or just a passing fad ;)

Even all the chairs had a Lone Star theme.

The floor of the rotunda has a beautiful mosaic representing the 6 different "ruling" flags that have flown over Texas at various times.

It's neat that most of the furniture in these chambers are original. Our Congress only meets once every 2 years, as transportation across the state was a huge burden back in the horse days.

They happened to be having an Easter egg hunt out on the Capitol grounds the morning that we visited.

From the front of the Capitol, there is a spectacular view down Congress Avenue towards Town Lake.

GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Going to watch my sister in a play tonight.

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