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Colorado State Capitol

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

200 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203, USA

Opening Hours

7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Beat the crowds and get a unique perspective by visiting the Colorado State Capitol on a weekday morning when you can often have a more relaxed experience and sometimes even stumble upon an impromptu tour by a local legislator. Don't miss the opportunity to climb up to the dome for a panoramic view of Denver and the mountains beyond—on a clear day, you may even see Pikes Peak in the distance!"

What is Colorado State Capitol?

The Colorado State Capitol stands as a beacon of governance and history in Denver, a grand building with its famed golden dome that can be seen shimmering from various points across the city. This architecturally stunning structure is not just where state legislators come together to shape Colorado's future, but also a living museum, awash with art, cultural artifacts, and stories spanning well over a century. It's the beating heart of Colorado’s political life, and a proud emblem of the state's heritage and identity.

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Enticing visitors with its neoclassical style, which is reminiscent of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., the Colorado State Capitol offers a slice of American history through its meticulously crafted chambers and its corridors lined with portraits of every president of the United States. Have you ever wanted to stand exactly one mile above sea level? Here, on the capitol's west steps, a special marker denotes the famed "Mile High" elevation that gives Denver one of its nicknames.

History of Colorado State Capitol

Colorado's journey to statehood was marked by the establishment of this iconic building, which saw its cornerstone laid on July 4, 1890. Designed by architect Elijah E. Myers, it was constructed using Colorado white granite, and the dome was initially covered in copper. But Colorado's capitol wouldn't get its characteristic gleam until 1908, when the dome was plated with real 24-karat gold leaf, commemorating the Colorado Gold Rush. Interestingly, the materials used throughout the building are reflective of the state's diverse geology—a story etched in stone and metal.

The capitol has undergone various renovations and restorations to preserve its structural integrity and historical significance. For instance, the magnificent gold dome underwent significant restoration work in recent years to ensure its brilliance could be maintained for future generations. If you look closely, you might notice that the dome's sheen is actually from gold mined in Colorado—a testament to the state's rich mining history. From its opulent grand staircase to the intricate stained glass dedicated to individuals who shaped the state, the capitol building is both a tribute to history and an active preserve of it.

Why is Colorado State Capitol Important?

Iconic not just in stature but in significance, the Colorado State Capitol is the fulcrum of state governance, where laws are made and policies are shaped. Beyond its legislative role, the capitol serves as a symbol of Colorado's unity and identity. The building stands as a testament to the state's values—beauty, dignity, and purpose—affecting countless lives through its decision-making halls.

Do you know that each step of the capitol's grand staircase represents a layer of the world's atmosphere? Facts like these imbue the building with both an educational aspect and a sense of wonder. Moreover, its geography makes it unique—where else can you stand precisely one mile high on the capitol's steps and gaze out at the vast Rocky Mountains? It's this combination of political significance and cultural richness that renders the Colorado State Capitol so vitally important to Denver and the state at large.

Things to Do & See at Colorado State Capitol

Visiting the Colorado State Capitol offers a multi-faceted experience. You can join a guided tour to learn about the fascinating history, architecture, and function of the government that operates within. Many tours even offer a visit to the top of the dome, where you can take in awe-inspiring views of the Denver skyline against the backdrop of the Rockies.

Art and history enthusiasts will appreciate the numerous portraits, stained glass windows, and sculptures throughout the building, all of which tell a story about Colorado's past. One not to miss is the collection of stained glass windows known as the Hall of Fame, featuring 16 windows dedicated to notable figures in Colorado's history. And then there's the touching tribute to the soldiers of the U.S.S. Colorado in one of the building's vestibules.

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The capitol grounds, with its well-kept lawns and historic monuments, is also perfect for a stroll or a picnic. When the legislature is in session, you can also watch democracy in action by sitting in on a session from the public galleries. Just remember, you'll be walking on beautifully crafted hardwood floors that have borne the weight of Colorado's political landscape for more than a century—imagine the decisions that have crossed these floors and how they've shaped the state you're exploring today.

Frequently asked questions

What can visitors see inside the Colorado State Capitol in Denver?

Visitors to the Colorado State Capitol can see the beautifully restored legislative chambers, the stunning rotunda with its impressive dome, various works of art, and historical exhibits. Guided tours often include a visit to Mr. Brown's Attic Museum and the opportunity to climb up to the dome's observation area for panoramic views of Denver.

Is there an admission fee to enter the Colorado State Capitol?

No, there is no admission fee to enter the Colorado State Capitol. Visitors can explore the public areas and join free guided tours to learn more about the history and architecture of the building.

How can I schedule a tour of the Colorado State Capitol?

Tours of the Colorado State Capitol are typically offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and visitors can inquire about tour times and availability by contacting the visitor services directly or checking the official website for the most current information.

Are there any restrictions on photography inside the Colorado State Capitol?

Photography is generally allowed inside the Colorado State Capitol for personal use. However, there may be restrictions in certain areas or during legislative sessions. Visitors should check with the Capitol staff or visit the official website for specific photography policies.

What are the operating hours of the Colorado State Capitol?

The Colorado State Capitol usually operates from Monday to Friday, with specific hours for tours and public access. It's best to verify the current operating hours by visiting the official website or contacting the Capitol's visitor services as they can vary on holidays, during special events, or legislative sessions.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

200 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203, USA

Opening Hours

7:30 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps