Madison, Wisconsin

After our great day in the Dells we spent the night at Walmart and then headed to Madison the next day to tour the Capitol.  There was not much place for us to park near by, but we found an event center about 2 miles away and it was a beautiful day for a walk.  We walked along Lake Monona.  There were boaters, bikers and walkers all over.  It was such great weather.

When we arrived at the Capitol we realized there was a farmers market set up on square around the building.  There were at least 100 vendors.  We bought some veggies, some cheese curd and a loaf of cinnamon bread.  We sat right on the lawn and ate our lunch.  We were among the other hundred people to go on the tour of the Capitol.  The guide was great and we loved listening to him.

The construction of this building began in 1906 and was completed in 1917 at a cost of $7.5 million.  That would be about 2 billion dollars today.  There are 43 kinds of stone in this building from six other countries and eight different states.  The exterior stone is Bethel White granite from Vermont.  In the rotunda you can see marble from Greece, Algeria, Italy and France along with Minnesota limestone, Norwegian syenite and red granite from Waupaca, Wisconsin.  It is one of the largest domes by volume in the world.  Each of the four mosaics contain about 100,000 pieces of glass tile.

The Governor’s Reception Room was styled after a room in the Doge’s palace in Venice.  All the paintings were done by an American artist names Hugo Ballin.  The painting on the walls show people, places and events from Wisconsin’s history.  The ceiling murals represent ideas such as art, pioneering, charity, invention and justice.

There are 33 Senators each elected to a four year term.  The walls are Italian Travernelle marble.  The mural in the front of the room is called “The Marriage of the Atlantic and the Pacific.”  It commemorates the opening of the Panama Canal.

We also toured the Supreme Court.  The paintings are by Albert Herter and illustrate events that influenced Wisconsin law.  The one in the front of the room shows the signing of the United States Constitution in 1787.  The man in the lower right corner with his coat over his arm is James Madison, who this city was named after.  The funny thing is Thomas Jefferson is in this painting even though he was not as the signing.  We were not able to see the State Assembly Chamber because  a wedding was being held there.  That is the first time we have heard of that.  There are 99 representatives.

After the tour we were able to climb the stairs to the fourth floor and then ascend a spiral staircase to the observations deck.  We really enjoyed seeing Madison from this view.  Almost all of the venders from the farmers market were gone.  We walked the two miles back to our truck along the water and big Madison fair well.

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