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Illinois State Capitol, Springfield

(480+ reviews on the web)
Government Building Tourist Spot
The Illinois State Capitol, located in Springfield, Illinois, is the building that houses the executive and legislative branches of the government of the U.S. state of Illinois. The current structure is the sixth to serve as capitol since Illinois became a part of the United States in 1818. The capitol is in the architectural style of the French Renaissance and was designed by Cochrane and Garnsey, an architecture and design firm based in Chicago. Ground was first broken for the new capitol on March 11, 1868, and it was completed twenty years later for a total cost of $4,500,000. The dome is covered in zinc to provide a silvery facade which does not weather. The interior of the dome features a plaster frieze painted to resemble bronze, which illustrates scenes from Illinois history, and stained glass windows (including a stained glass replica of the state seal in the oculus of the dome). The seal featured in the top of the dome is the seal used by Illinois prior to the American Civil War. It differs from the modern seal in that the phrase "State Sovereignty" is above the phrase "National Union." After the Civil War, the legislature voted to reverse these phrases as they professed that National Union was the more important of these two concepts.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Absolutely gorgeous building... especially the interior. I've toured several states' capitols and I'd have to say this was, in my opinion, the most striking. The dome is amazing, as is the well-mainta...  more »
  • It goes to show how many possible variants there are in Capitol design and structure. Clear French influence here in attractive decor.  more »
  • The building itself is very impressive and hard to miss today. Imagine what effect it must have created when first opened in 1868. Still fully operational, tours can be arranged through the visitor bu...  more »
Google
  • A great historical building two walk around in. Everything is Captain interacional forum. It is a great experience to walk from room to room and see everything it's in its original shape
  • We have visited the Old State Capitol multiple times as local residents and we love it. Our most recent visit was this holiday season during the downtown holiday walk. The REAL Santa and Mrs. Claus were there visiting with the children and it was a hit with the entire family. They were wonderful and took the time to visit with each child. My 6-year old reported it was "a dream come true"! The staff was as welcoming as always and even had a selection of crafts for the kids. Love this place! We were sorry to miss the Civil War era Santa due to an ice storm. I highly recommend a visit to the Old State Capitol. Their tours are very interesting and if you're lucky to catch a special, on-site event, you're sure to be in for a real treat!
  • Great experience for the kids and adults! I couldn't get over how patient our guide was with ALL the questions.
  • So much history! We had a great tour guide, and we saw much of the two levels available to us. We really learned a lot and it was engaging even to a child.
  • This site provides so much value in regards to American history. With IL being in the middle, so much passed through and happened on these last. This site has loads of history to uncover and they are always doing a reenactment of some kind