A visit to Salt Lake City - Part 5. - Orlando / Florida Guide
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The final stop on today' s itinerary was the Utah State Capitol building, which is open Monday - Friday 7am until 8pm and Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 8am until 6pm. You can take a guided tour without a reservation and the tours last for just under an hour. Simply enter by the east doors and meet at the desk on the first floor. You are also welcome to take a self guided tour and to help you with this tour brochures can be found at the same desk.
Although the Capitol Building appears to be quite close to Temple Square, it is a moderately, strenuous uphill climb to its elevated position, above the city, on Capitol Hill, especially in the summer months when the temperatures can reach the high 30' s, so be sure to carry a drink with you! Even when you arrive at your destination there are still several flights of stairs to climb. Having said this, the view across Salt Lake City is worth every weary step.
Constructed from Utah granite, with its columns and magnificent dome, the building, surrounded by lawns on several levels, is quite stunning and bears more than a passing resemblance to its Washington namesake. It is the house of government for the State of Utah and provides offices for the Utah House of Representatives and the Utah Senate. Opened in 1916, this year will see its centenary.
It was not immediately clear where we should enter the building, but after a bit of a wander around the outside we managed to find our way in by following someone else.
Unlike it' s Washington namesake we were struck by the lack of obvious security, no metal detectors or screening here, and the fact that we were able to wander around quite freely.
Once inside the cool, marble interior the architecture can be really appreciated and the views from the rotunda up into the dome interior, with its magnificent frescos, are simply stunning. The building is awash with beautiful artwork and sculptures depicting the history of Salt Lake City and anyone with a great appreciation of art would be in seventh heaven.
We strolled around taking in the Supreme Chamber, The Senate Chamber and the fabulous State Reception Room or Gold Room, rooms which although we could not actually enter, we were at least able to look inside.
Although it was quite obviously a place of work, we were struck by the quietness of the place, it was certainly not the bustling hive of activity that we have found in other public buildings that we have visited. We spent an hour or so wandering around, although we could have spent longer had we had the time.
We are told that The Capitol Building receives thousands of visitors every year but to us it seemed much less busy that the sites around Temple Square, maybe the climb puts people off, but if you are visiting Salt Lake City you really should take the time to visit this beautiful building steeped in the history of the state.
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