Exploring West Virginia’s Midas Touched State Capitol
“Oh, the West Virginia hills! How majestic and how grand”, may be the official state song, but the sparkly gold dome of West Virginia’s State Capitol trumps mountains any day in my book. This is the place I was born and my heart still clings to the exquisite beauty of this majestic state. The lustrous West Virginia state capitol dome is covered in copper and gold leaf. A majestic eagle sits atop the 25-foot bronze spire.
During my recent visit to the mountain state, the cherry blossoms and dogwoods were in full bloom. Fat, seasonal tulips and pansies were sprouting up from every flower bed. The smells were delicious. Walking the capitol complex taking pictures on a warm springtime day nearly had me drunk from the intoxicating smells.
Maybe I am biased, but West Virginia’s state capital is the most beautiful in the nation.
The West Virginia’s State Capitol Complex is located in the city of Charleston and draws visitors 365 days a year. The 333 room complex consists of the East Wing and West Wings, and the Rotunda connecting the wings. The Italian Renaissance meets Colonial Revival buildings overlook the Kanawha (pronounced kuh-NAH-wuh) River. You cannot miss her sheer beauty. The complex houses the seat of government for the US state of West Virginia, the WV Legislature, and the Governor’s office and Executive mansion. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The infamous Abraham Lincoln statue
A solemn statue of Abraham Lincoln, who was President during the time West Virginia became a state, stands overlooking the river on the front plaza. The complex is also home to many other statues and memorials.The latest addition was the West Virginia Coal Miner statue, dedicated in 2002. The statue’s inscription reads “Let it be said that coal is the fuel that helped build the greatest country on earth and has preserved our freedom and enhanced our quality of life”. The beautiful West Virginia state capitol grounds are perfectly manicured and squirrels run freely enjoying an abundance of oak trees. Two decorative fountains adorn the property as well.
The West Virginia State Capitol that we know was not built in Charleston until 1921; however, the mountain state was established on June 20, 1863, props to Mr. Lincoln. The limestone buildings were designed by architect Cass Gilbert who later went on to replicate its interior on the United States Supreme Court. The majority of the interior is marble. My favorite details are the carved mythological heads above the doors entering the buildings.
Fact: The State Capitol building is the tallest building in the state of West Virginia at 292 feet.
Fact: The West Virginia navy-bordered white flag displays two men representing mining and farming, standing beside a rock inscribed with the date the state came into the union. The state motto “Mountaineers are Always Free” is written in Latin on a ribbon below the men.
The West Virginia State Capitol Photo Gallery:
Check out our other posts about wild and wonderful West Virginia: