I am visiting Sacramento for a project and had some time to kill. I decided to visit the Capitol Building of the State of California. I was just able to make it in time for the last tour of the day. The tour was amazing and I am really glad that i took this opportunity. Our tour guide was a retired man and he had a lot of goog jokes as well as some great in deep knowledge. At the tour you learn a lot about the history of the State of California as well as on the building itself.
To get into the building you have to pass a security checkpoint like on an airport. There is a x-ray machine and a metal detector, but you don’t have to take of your shoes or your belt, which speeds up the process quite a bit. Once in there you can walk around freely or join the tour.
The tour office is located downstairs in room B27, but there are numerous signs, which will point you in the right direction. By the way, the admission and the tour is free of charge. Take the time and join the tour for some great information. The tour reminded me a bit about the movie “National Treasure“, when one guy of the group started talking about underground tunnels.
The most fantastic thing besides all the facts on history and architecture, was the fact how the different art pieces got signed with “hidden signatures”. When the building was refurbished all the old art like mosaics of the floor and wall paintings were taken out and either processed to reuse or replaced by replicas. Replicas because the originals were in a to bad condition to re-use it. After the different artists got the project to replicate the art and afterwards reinstall it, they put some hidden signatures. Hidden because they were not allowed to really sign it with their name. You will learn about a couple of them during the tour.
Before or after the tour you can walk around and look at the art and different exhibits of all the states in California. You can also visit the visitor balcony of the Assembly Chamber and during the tour you will visit also the balcony of the Senate Chamber. The tour guide also explained in a great way, how laws are being passed here in the capitol.
Around the capitol is a huge garden with lot of opportunities to sit down and relax. At the west-facing side of the building you can already see the christmas tree. The tree will be lit the first time this year on December 9th at 4:30 pm. The event is free of charge to attend.
You can visit here from 8 am – 5 pm during the week and on weekends from 9 am – 5 pm. For more information check out the official website of the museum.