Finished in 1859, the historic Tennessee State Capitol is one of the oldest working capitols in the country and designated as a civil engineering landmark for its innovative construction. The distinctive tower is designed after the monument of Lysicrates in Athens, Greece. The architect, William Strickland, died in 1854 and is entombed above the cornerstone. The exterior and interior walls are massive blocks of limestone. Numerous ghost stories are associated with the architect and Samuel Dold Morgan, chairman of the building committee, with whom he frequently argued. During the Union occupation of Nashville (1862-65), the Capitol was tranformed into Fortress Andrew Johnson. The artillery located there never had to be fired in battle, but were used for drills and celebrations. The Capitol, still in use by state government, features numerous works of art, historical murals and frescos, portraits, massive chandeliers, the House and Senate chambers and library, and the Governor’s Office. The grounds include the tomb of President and Mrs. James K. Polk, the famous equestrian statue of President Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans, and statues of President Andrew Johnson and Sam Davis, “Boy Hero of the Confederacy," World War I hero Sgt. Alvin York, and Senator Edward W. Carmack. Guided tours are available on Monday - Friday at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. and last from 30 minutes to an hour.
Tennessee Vacation eGuide
The 2016 eGuide gives you instant access to Tennessee’s irresistible attractions and destinations. Peruse venues online, then put in your order to get a free guide delivered to your doorstep.