On June 21, I published the first in a series about state capitols, in Lincoln, Nebraska. On our most recent trip, we visited five of them!
Since August 1 was Colorado Day, I go next to Denver, Colorado.
On June 1, we visited the state capitol in Denver.
Once inside, we decided to take a guided tour. The guide met us and started the tour in the rotunda, where there are murals all around depicting the history of Colorado.
Above us was the dome.
Round stained glass portraits of important Coloradoans formed a circle below the dome.
Like most capitol buildings, the staircases had ornate railings and the walls and columns were made of various types of marble.
We were able to peek into both the House of Representatives and the Senate, neither of which was in session.
The House of Representatives (Legislature)
On the walls above the Senate Chamber were stained glass panels of notable Colorado statesmen and stateswomen.
The ceiling of the Senate chamber
Both legislative chambers are on the second floor. On the walls of the balcony are portraits of all the presidents from 1-44. (I was glad #45 hadn’t been added yet!)
A unique feature is that you can take a stairway to the dome and view the city from the cupola. I was a bit nervous about attempting to climb the narrow spiral staircase at the end, but I’d come that far – so I kept going, allowing younger, sprier people to pass me.
After the tour, we looked around a little more on our own.
We stepped into the governor’s office and talked to the secretary. There was a horse statue near the doorway!
This quilt, called “Women’s Gold,” was created by a group of local women, who stitched their names in the bottom right hand corner!
Another quilt, depicting the symbols of the state of Colorado.
We then went outside and to the front of the capitol, because our guide had told us the story of the three measurements of the capitol steps. Denver is known as the “Mile High City” because its elevation is about a mile above sea level. There were those who wanted to find the precise measurement of one mile on the capitol steps so in 1909, after doing their calculations, the worlds ONE MILE ABOVE SEA LEVEL were chiseled on the 15th step. The measurement was done again in 1969, and was found to be at the 18th step – a difference of 17 vertical inches – and a small round plaque was embedded in that step.
In 2003, with GPS technology, the measurement was done once again, finding that the 13th step was exactly one mile above sea level. This was marked by a bronze plug.
In front of the capitol is a Civil War monument.