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Top Rated Attractions in Madison

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Wisconsin State Capitol

The crown jewel of Capitol Square, Madison's glorious landmark is a pristine white canopy awash in stately Beaux-Arts style. Construction on the building was completed in 1917, and it has been the center point of the state's historic and legislative tenor ever since. However, this striking structure is the fifth capitol building of the state. The first was used only temporarily until Madison was ready to assume its role as the capitol site, the second was constructed in 1837 and later replaced for a larger facility, and the third was eventually destroyed in a fire in 1904. An eye-catching landmark that is perhaps best recognized by its large dome, the current state capitol building houses the Wisconsin legislature, as well as the state Supreme Court and the offices of the governor. Designated a National Historic Landmark, the capitol building sits like an enchanting jewel, ornamented with a string of rolling lawns and sculptures.

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Framed by the scenic Bascom Hill and the serene Lake Mendota, this university is one of the oldest public institutions in the state. Wisconsin's official state university, the University of Wisconsin-Madison was established in 1848. Having played a major role in World War II, the university also has deep roots in student activism. Alma mater to path-breaking individuals like Greta Van Susteren, Frank Lloyd Wright and Lorraine Hansberry, the university proffers academics spanning disciplines like economics, geology, linguistics, history and more. The main campus at this public research university takes up 933-acres (378 hectares) of land, and this space comprises four National Historic Landmarks. Apart from academics, the students are involved in a lot of extracurricular activities, and the institution hosts many events throughout the year. There are many musical performances, both by students and known performers. Noteworthy sites on the university's campus include the Bascom Hall, Music Hall, Van Rise Hall and Grainger Hall among others.

Grace Episcopal Church

Established in 1855, Grace Episcopal Church was one of the earliest places of worship to serve Madison. The majestic church building was constructed in the Gothic Revival style of architecture and features striking details. Besides its worship services and religious activities, the church is actively involved in art, and is popular for its annual concert series.

Unitarian Meeting House

The Madison region of Wisconsin is endowed with a fine church building in the form of the First Unitarian Society of Madison. The Unitarian Universalist Congregation is accurately sited at Shorewood Hills and is a magnificent revelation of the Modern Movement style of architecture and occupies tremendous significance.

Wisconsin Governor's Mansion

Overlooking Lake Mendota, Wisconsin Governor's Mansion or the Executive Residence is among the four state governor's residences in the nation that is not located in the state capital. Built for Carl A. Johnson in 1921 as a Classical Revival mansion, it was later bought by Thomas R. Hefty in 1933. He then sold the property to the State in 1949. It has been the Wisconsin Governors' abode since then. Comprising of 34 rooms, seven bedrooms and fireplaces, it is elegantly appointed with artifacts and artworks. The eight gardens though distinct are worth a look as well. Guided tours are open to the public for free every summer, once a week. Their holiday tours are equally a hit among visitors.

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