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Tennessee State Capitol

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

600 Dr. M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Nashville, TN 37243, USA

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Varies

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Even though the Tennessee State Capitol is a popular site, many visitors miss the chance to see the tomb of President James K. Polk which is located on the capitol grounds – it's a quiet spot to reflect on the history of the place. Also, try to visit on a weekday morning; not only are the guided tours less crowded then, but you also might catch government in action as the legislature often meets during this time."

What is Tennessee State Capitol?

Imposing itself against the Nashville skyline, the Tennessee State Capitol is a monument to the state's rich history and the site of its living government. It stands as a working hub for Tennessee's legislative process and is a remarkable example of Greek Revival architecture, resonating with the political and cultural values of the time it was built.

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The Capitol building is not only an architectural gem but also a repository of Tennessee's past, with historical markers and statues that tell stories of pivotal figures and moments. When you walk through its halls, you're treading the same paths as lawmakers and historical figures who've shaped Tennessee into the state it is today.

History of Tennessee State Capitol

Named after the Indigenous American tribe, the Chickasaw, Nashville's Tennessee State Capitol stands atop what is known as Capitol Hill, once called Cedar Knob because of its cedar-covered prominence. The cornerstone of this magnificent structure was laid on July 4, 1845, and it was designed by the esteemed architect William Strickland, who considered it his crowning achievement.

Strickland was so invested in this project, that upon his death in 1854, before the Capitol's completion, he was entombed in its walls – a testament to the deep connection he felt for this creation. It took 14 long years of planning, construction, and the overcoming of numerous challenges before the Capitol was finally completed in 1859. Remarkably, it's one of the few state capitols that don’t have a dome, and it's also among the oldest working state capitol buildings in the nation.

Why is Tennessee State Capitol Important?

The Tennessee State Capitol's importance is multifaceted. Besides being the epicenter of Tennessee's government, orchestrating the ebb and flow of policies and politics, it's a standing tribute to Tennessee's history and its role in the American narrative. It stands not just as a structure, but as a symbol of democracy and the ongoing journey of the American state.

Moreover, the Capitol is a treasure trove of historical narratives, housing battle flags, artifacts, and works of art, including a bust of President Andrew Jackson. It witnessed the tumult of the Civil War and the strides in civil rights. It has seen leaders rise and fall, all under its steadfast gaze, as if the building itself is a guardian of the state's memories.

Things to Do & See at Tennessee State Capitol

Visiting the Tennessee State Capitol offers a wealth of experiences. You can take a guided tour to explore its hallowed halls and hear stories that breathe life into the history contained within its walls. The grounds, dotted with monuments such as the equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson and the tomb of President James K. Polk, are a lesson in history in and of themselves.

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Besides soaking up the grandeur of the architecture, the Capitol offers educational exhibits that inform on the functioning of the state's government. And if you time your visit right, you might witness the legislature in session, a live symphony of political orchestration. It is a place of contemplation and understanding, where one can gaze out from the Capitol's hilltop position and ponder the unfolding of the state's past and future.

Whether you're an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or simply curious about the workings of government, the Tennessee State Capitol stands ready to provide a memorable glimpse into Tennessee's soul. And as the seasons change, so does the view from Capitol Hill—each visit can offer a new perspective, both literally and metaphorically. It is a living museum, a place where every corner holds a different story, and visiting it is truly a journey through the heart of Tennessee.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Tennessee State Capitol?

The Tennessee State Capitol is a historic government building located in Nashville, where the legislative branches of the Tennessee state government operate. It is known for its distinctive Greek Revival architecture.

Can visitors tour the Tennessee State Capitol?

Yes, visitors can tour the Tennessee State Capitol. Guided tours are available and provide insight into the history and workings of the state government.

When was the Tennessee State Capitol built?

The Tennessee State Capitol was designed by architect William Strickland and was constructed between 1845 and 1859.

Are there any notable monuments or memorials at the Tennessee State Capitol?

Several monuments and memorials can be found on the Capitol grounds, including statues of historical figures and memorials honoring significant events in Tennessee's history.

Is the Tennessee State Capitol accessible to individuals with disabilities?

The Tennessee State Capitol has been updated to accommodate individuals with disabilities, including the provision of accessibility services for tours.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

600 Dr. M.L.K. Jr Blvd, Nashville, TN 37243, USA

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Varies

Find it on google maps