The Kansas statehouse has been a major attraction in the state of Kansas since it opened in 1903. Topekans and visitors to the city have seen the building undergo many changes over the years. The statehouse is a historic monument and began giving tours in the 1930s. Since then, history buffs, students and tourists have enjoyed touring the facility with experienced guides who know the history of the building.
As a native Kansan who has lived in Topeka all my life, the Kansas Capitol building never ceases to amaze with its beauty. I recently took a tour of the building and learned a lot about Kansas history and the impact that the statehouse has had on Kansas.
The interior of the building has been renovated over the last 15 years, and I was amazed by its new exquisite detail. Gold trim frames the ceilings and staircases, marble floors line the halls and historical murals decorate the walls of lower level.
An experienced tour guide walks visitors through each floor of the building, explaining the history and meaning behind each of the murals. If you’re lucky, you might even get to sing “Home on the Range.”
After moving through the main floors of the building, the guide then prepares visitors for the 296-step climb to reach the top of the dome. The stairs include straight, steep, narrow and spiral staircases, with rest landings for visitors to take short breaks. Once I made it to the top of the dome, the climb proved well worth it. Looking out over the city was beautiful.
The tour took about an hour, and the best part was that it is free as you take a tour during the designated tour hours. Outside of those hours, there may be a nominal fee.
The Kansas State Capitol dome tours are scheduled at 9:15 a.m., 10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m, Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, the times are as follows: 10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.
The tour of the statehouse and the climb to the dome was an enlightening experience. I learned more about the building and Kansas history than I expected. I would definitely recommend this for a fun, educational activity. The tour offers a one-of-a-kind experience that is fun for all ages. However, remember to wear your walking shoes.