The Capitol was designed by Thomas Jefferson and first occupied in 1788 by Virginia's General Assembly, America's oldest English-speaking legislature. During the Civil War, the Confederate Congress also met here.
The east (House) and west (Senate) wings were added between 1904-1906. The Capitol has reopened after a $104.5 million restoration and expansion project. Free one-hour guided tours are offered daily, including some holidays. Visitors also may tour on their own. Impressive interior designs and colors from 1910 have been replicated in the Rotunda, House and Senate chambers.
New visitor amenities include a gift shop (Mon-Sat), cafe (Mon-Fri) and exhibit gallery. The Capitol Square grounds have been re-landscaped. Individuals, families, school and tour groups are welcome. Reservations are needed for groups of 10 or more.