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Designed by Thomas Jefferson with architect Charles-Louis Clérisseau, this Classic Revival building was modeled after a Roman temple, the Maison Carrée in Nimes. It was completed in 1788 and is the second oldest capitol in continuous use in the country. The focal point of the building is the central rotunda featuring a life-size statue of George Washington, said to be the only one for which he actually posed. A smaller dome displays busts of the eight American presidents from Virginia. The old Hall of the House of Delegates, where the legislature met until 1906, is now a museum. Free tours, lasting about 30 minutes, are offered here. Visitors can stroll around the Capitol grounds and see the nearby Executive Mansion.
The Museum and White House of the Confederacy is a neoclassical mansion built in 1818. President Jefferson Davis lived here during the Civil War years, and several pieces of furniture owned by him are on display. Adjacent to the restored White House is a museum containing more than 15,000 artifacts and 500 flags from the Confederate era. The collection includes the swords and other personal effects of Generals Jackson, Lee and Stuart. Personal papers, government documents, journals and rare books are on exhibit.
By boat or by foot the Richmond Canal Walk is a beautiful and educational experience. Take a guided tour or learn about the site on your own. Trek through wooden steps, cobbled streets, and dirt trails - you certainly won't be bored with all of the pathways this walk offers. Brass disks embedded in the sidewalk, maps, photos and artifacts note historical events and people associated with the canals and locks.
The original draft of Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem, "The Raven," along with other memorabilia of the life of this unusual writer, is on display in this museum. Poe grew up in Richmond and made frequent visits to the city throughout his life. The author's mysterious death is as intriguing as the tales he wrote. It was in Richmond that he was last seen before he was discovered, beaten and delirious, in Baltimore. He died shortly afterwards. The Poe Museum, housed in Richmond's oldest stone building. Admission: USD6 adults; USD5 seniors and students.
The Virginia Holocaust Museum was founded in 1997 by Al Rosenbaum, Mark Fetter, and Jay Ipson, one of Richmond's youngest Holocaust survivors. The museum's mission is to educate others on the Holocaust and the terror of genocide. Visitors are led throughout the museum by painted train tracks to not only learn about the holocaust as a whole, but also the personal account of the Ipson family and their ordeal. In addition, you will learn about other survivors who have settled in Richmond. Engage in the films, guided tours, programs, and lectures that are provided. Note: due to the certain graphic nature of select content, this might not be the best place for young children. Admission is free but donations are greatly appreciated.
Founded in 1847, Hollywood is one of the oldest cemeteries in Richmond. Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General J.E.B. Stuart, Presidents James Monroe and John Tyler, novelists James Branch Cabel and Ellen Glasgow, and 18,000 Confederate soldiers, 11,000 of the unknown, are a few examples of the historical figures buried here. Hollywood has the city's best view of the James River. When the cemetery was first established, neighbors declared that the rushing of the falls would, literally, wake the dead. Guided tours are available on the last Sunday of each month through October.
Built-in 1893, this beautiful home on the James River is a classic example of Victorian architecture and landscaping. Maymont Mansion is filled with period furniture including a magnificent swan bed. Trees and plants from all over the world were cultivated here by the owners. The English, Japanese and Italian gardens are romantic spots for strolling and picnicking. A carriage collection, children's farm, and small zoo are other favorite attractions.
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts contains comprehensive collections of works from ancient times to the present. Permanent exhibits include pieces from ancient Greece, a tapestry hall, a medieval chapel and the largest collection of Faberge eggs outside of Russia. A regular schedule of temporary exhibits rounds out this comprehensive art museum. A peaceful sculpture garden provides a place for a quiet rest beside the rushing fountains. Admission is free, although USD5 donations are suggested.
Carytown is a treasure trove of specialty stores and restaurants. Stroll down the sidewalks and explore antique stores, salons, vintage clothing stores, coffee places, bookshops and more. On and off-street parking is plentiful. The eateries represent many different kinds of food, from Mexican at Nacho Mamma's to French-Asian at Indochine or Indian at Farouk's. The shops include Premiere Costumes, The Compleat Gourmet and Leo Burke Furniture. These and other stores have sidewalk sales in the spring and fall and open houses on December Sundays. In August, the street comes to life with the Watermelon Festival.
The canal that was built to favor the passengers who traveled through the water ways was the James River and Kanawha Canal. Although frequently destroyed by the floods, the canal stood still in its appearance and continues to serve the passengers. This canal is spread over 138 acres (56 hectares) and is a great visiting place for the tourists. If you are still debating whether or not to visit, keep in mind that it is listed on the register of National Historic Places in the year 1971. The public pathway is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In the 1880s, Lewis Ginter, a wealthy businessman, opened a resort on this land just northwest of Richmond. An avid gardener, he planted and cared for much of the foliage that still thrives in the park today. Upon his death, the property passed to his niece who opened a hospice for children in Ginter's home. She also cultivated the gardens and imported several rare plants. The land is now operated by the city as a botanical garden. Explore the Victorian garden, nature trails and the home, and perhaps stop at the Tea House for lunch.
North Anna Battlefield Park is the 172-acre site of the May 1864 Battle of North Anna, which has now transformed into a place with walking trails, a picnic place, and historic interpretive signs that point out trenches and rifle pits from the past. Bring your family and friends to soak in some sunshine and indulge in American history. Some trails, such as the Blue Trail, may include steep hills and require strenuous activity.