Discover the beauty and history of the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building in Harrisburg, a priceless palace of art filled with opulent décor, brilliant paintings and statues, and centuries of commonwealth history. It’s free to visit the Capitol building and take a guided tour while your expert escort points out the artistic and architectural highlights.
Operating Schedule: 30-minute guided tours are offered year-round, daily, Monday through Friday, plus weekends and most holidays.
Rooms you’ll see on the guided tour:
Main Rotunda: Begin your tour in the breathtaking rotunda featuring a 52-million-pound dome that reaches 272 feet from floor to ceiling. The designer modeled the Capitol dome after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Atop the dome sits a 17-foot, 3-ton gilded bronze statue named Commonwealth.
Senate Chamber: The desks in the chamber are the original desks, built in 1906 from mahogany from Belize. The marble around the bottom of the room is from Ireland, and the gold French velvet drapes in each window weigh 87 pounds a pair!
House Chamber: The two small chandeliers weigh two tons each while the four larger ones weigh 4 and a half ton – that’s about the size of a male African elephant! The marble that wraps the bottom of the room is from the Pyrenees Mountains of France. The marble was donated to the Capitol by monks. Shortly after, their quarries closed and never reopened again. The painting in the center of the room, The Apotheosis of Pennsylvania, is the largest painting in the Capitol.
Supreme Court: The Supreme Court in Harrisburg is one of three in the state of Pennsylvania. Seven justices sit across the front of the oldest Supreme Court in the United States. Like the Senate and House chambers, the mahogany woodwork is original to the building. The beautiful green stained glass dome is the only one of its kind in the Capitol. Look up because the ornate chandeliers each contain a statue!