St. Paul: MInnesota State Capitol Building

image courtesy of pink_hippos_photos

We in Minnesota are ferociously proud of our capitol building.
Oh, yes we are.
Okay, so maybe it’s just me.
But for a capitol building, isn’t it pretty?
It’s white marble with a beautiful dome and in front of the dome, there is a golden statue of a bunch of horses.
(My 6th grade Minnesota History teacher would be so appalled at my disregard for the correct name and vague description of one of the most important buildings in Minnesota!  Sorry, Mr. Witt)
Here are the highlights (and maybe even the correct facts) regarding our beloved Minnesota State Capitol Building.

  1. It is located on Wabasha Hill.  Why is this important?  I don’t think the name is as important as the location.  Honestly, the building sits on a high hill on the north side of St. Paul and looks down at the rest of the city.
  2. The marble is from Georgia.  For one reason alone:  we don’t have marble in Minnesota.  Iron Ore?  Yes, but that wouldn’t make for a beautiful building.  It probably wouldn’t be that functional either as the entire building would sink into Wabasha Hill after its construction. 
  3. The dome was designed to replicate the dome of the Basilica of  St. Peter’s in Rome–designed by Michealangelo 350 years earlier (oh, and to look similar to the US Capitol building, too)
  4. Which brings me to the next point, the construction of the capitol building began in 1893 and was open to the public (meaning it was finished) on January 2, 1905. 
  5. That golden statue of a bunch of horses is called Progress of the State or Quadriga.  That is so much prettier that Statue of a Bunch of Horses, wouldn’t you say?  Quadriga is a four horse chariot with 6 figures representing the Virtues.  Can someone please tell me what those are?  Also, eagles are all around the sculpture as well.  The art is made of sheets of gilded copper molded around a steel frame. 
  6. Cass Gilbert was a local architect who designed  the capitol.  He was born in Ohio but raised in St. Paul.
  7. As a child, my favorite part of the Capitol was the tunnels that took you into the very bowels of the building.  I have no idea where we started or how we got there, but I felt like a covert spy sneaking into the capitol.  Even though we weren’t sneaking.  At. all.  In fact, being as my family was, there was a good chance we were singing our way through the halls.  We happy little Minnesotans, we!
Next time you are in Minnesota–more specifically St. Paul–you should take a look and our pretty building. The art is pretty cool.  They give tours and tell of the history and the significance of everything in the capitol. 
Oh, and if you really want to, sit in on one of the sessions!  Even though half the time the words they are using don’t make any sense.  Well, that’s not true.  The words make sense, but when you walk into the middle of a discussion or a vote, it’s kind of hard to jump right in and be an active listener. 
At least it was for a certain 11 year old that I knew.
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About giannarae

I am a child of God who has been given the humbling job of being a wife and a mother to 4. Those whom He has given to me are my Sweet Peas and Buddies and one Honey.
This entry was posted in history, Minnesota State Capitol Building, St. Paul, travel Minnesota. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to St. Paul: MInnesota State Capitol Building

  1. Michigan's Capitol Building is quite beautiful, too.
    I find it kind of funny (and a bit embarrassing) that I didn't visit our Capitol Building until I was in my early twenties. I grew up just minutes away, but didn't go there until my pen-pal from Brazil came to the States. I thought Where should I take her? Why, to the Capitol, of course! It was quite a sight. And I've been there many times, since. *grin*

    Thanks for showing me yours!

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