A Little Bit of Culture: State Capitol, CA

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I couldn’t possibly live in California for one and a half years and not visit its capital, let alone the State Capitol. A little bit of culture and politics, right here, right there (although I won’t get into a discussion about the latter). 

A few weekends ago, we braced the cold and headed up north to San Francisco and Sacramento. (I will leave San Fran for a separate post.) A little bit of culture we managed to squeeze in in-between festivities, and so a tour around the California Capitol we could not miss. 

On Sunday morning, after a laid back breakfast session, we drove over to the Capitol. 

The whole weekend I was actually pretty surprised what a relatively calm town Sacramento seems to be. Yes, it is the capital of Cali, but – and maybe it’s because of the season – it seemed really quiet to me. But I am not complaining about that, actually. I love a good, peaceful environment, especially on the weekends. 

We had to go through security (quite a big deal) before entering the building, then walked down the long hallway, as I was aw-ing at the architecture. 

The Capitol has been home to the California Legislature since 1869.  

We decided to not just wander around by ourselves – it’s a public building – to get a little more insight. The tour lasted about an hour. I am not going to go into detail here, but will walk you through with a  few pictures, so you get an impression. If you are interested in the history and architecture, however, you can find more details here

The tour began at the Ronald Reagan statue. 

We walked through the whole building and I was pretty impressed, to say the least. 

Below you see the great California Seal incl. the Cali bear. 

At some point, half way through the tour, we got a glimpse into the State Senate Chamber. Wow! This is so different compared to Germany. In regards to decor, style – whatever you want to call it – it is so much more traditional. 

I couldn’t help looking up the Senator for us. Her name is Toni G. Atkins, representing District 39. Good to know. 

In honor of the first U.S. President, a huge painting of George Washington was hung up on the wall. 

We then moved on. 

Fun fact about the yellow bridge you see: supposedly, this was finished before the renowned Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Our tour guide joked around by saying this should have been the ‘Golden Gate’ Bridge. 

The last stop of the tour was the Assembly Gallery. 

So, this is where (part of the) political magic happens?!

Another stunning room, in my opinion, accessible to the public. 

Here, again, I looked up the representative: Todd Gloria, Assembly Member representing District 78. Alrighty then. 

Of course, all this does not really affect me as a non-citizen, but still, it’s interesting to learn a little more about it. 

I stumbled upon this handy tool on their website; it allows you to search for your representatives.

After about an hour, we were free to explore some more by ourselves. 

I couldn’t miss saying Hi to the Cali bear. Looks like a friendly fella. 

The sun was still out when we left the building; it was raining a lot that weekend. These people up in NorCal are definitely not in a drought. 

Clearly, the State Capitol is modeled after the U.S. Capitol. 

Pretty sweet, if you ask me. 

We had a little photo session outside before it was time to go. 

We then headed back for some wedding fun – my first ever U.S. wedding and this was quite an experience. 

Even though there really isn’t that much to do in Sacramento, the Capitol is one of the handful of things that is pretty impressive. The free tour allows a brief insight into California’s history and was thus definitely worth it.