Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Capitol Complex, Harrisburg

4.5
#1 of 24 in Things to do in Harrisburg
Government Building Tourist Spot
Designed in the Beaux-Arts style by architect Joseph Huston, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Capitol Complex once inspired Theodore Roosevelt to claim it was the handsomest building he ever saw. A palace of art, the building houses a large collection of paintings, sculptures, and large-scale murals created by some of the finest artisans of the 19th century. Completed in 1906, the building now counts among the country's major architectural landmarks, featuring a vaulted dome and grand staircase. Start at the main rotunda, with handcrafted tile mosaics designed to show Pennsylvania's history, symbols, and animals. From there, join a guided tour of the building's main chambers, noted for their stained-glass windows created by artist William B. Van Ingen. Tours happen several times daily. Put Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Capitol Complex into our Harrisburg itinerary builder to see other points of interest to visit during your vacation in Harrisburg.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
690 reviews
Google
4.4
  • We enjoyed visiting Pennsylvania's capital. Busy city with a lot of old architecture. Since we aren't from the area, we felt a little uneasy. Big city, but drove through some struggling neighborhoods.  more »
  • We visited on a sunny weekday and thoroughly enjoyed the grounds and building. It must have the highest proportion of stone than any other state capital we have seen. Magnificent, really. If you get a...  more »
  • This is a beautiful building from the fountain in front to the dome inside. If you are near Harrisburg this is a quick stop. We were able to take it all in, in an hour. The room the House meets in is ...  more »
Google
  • One of the best capitol buildings in the country (our 22 capitol building) we have seen. On the same level as the capitol in Washington DC. The fountain out back was super nice and our kids watched it till we pried them away.
  • The distinctive, beautiful heart of the city. This landmark anchors the community in the way that all great landmarks do, not just economically, but socially and psychologically.
  • This Capitol is grandiose and shows the splendor of the Commonwealth when it was the worlds sixth largest economy. A few of the features: terracotta roof, 52 million ton dome, stained glass windows by a student of Tiffany's, grand marble staircase, and priceless artwork everywhere. A must see for the lover of history, art, architecture, or Pennsylvania.
  • "Best capital ever! I had do a report on Pennsylvania and if I could I'd give it 1,000 stars."
  • My family lived on 3rd Street across from the steps when I was born, and my mother later worked as a secretary for several state senators on the 4th floor of the capitol, so I spent a lot of time there into my teens. I visited with my late wife about 25 years ago. She grew up in Europe and spent a lot of time there as an adult tourist, and said that the capitol building was the most beautiful functioning (i.e., not a museum or church) building that she had ever seen. I agree.

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