Here is a more detailed post of our visit to the Texas State Capitol building with Chris and Miri. Tours are free and begin every 15minutes! Our tour guide was pretty funny, and we all learned quite a bit about Texas history and pride (like how Sam Houston went and lived with the Indians at age 16-- talk about teenage rebellion! or how Texas was it's own country for nine years until "we let America in")
The above and below photos are taken from the same spot: one facing south down Congress Ave, and one facing north to the Capitol building. The third picture is also taken from this spot, but facing East. It is a monument to the Confederacy (and it's not subtle about the injustices of the Civil War!).
The above photo is the Senate, and below is the House, with all desks and decorations original to the building (mid-1800s). The paintings around the room are quite lovely, and the ones behind us (that I didn't get pictures of for fear of being TOO touristy!) filled the whole wall and depicted famous battles in Texas history.
No details were spared. The first electric lights in all Texas are the ones in the Capitol, and the bulbs in each point of the stars spell "T E X A S." Even the door knobs and hinges are engraved-- the hinges weigh EIGHT POUNDS each and they are on EVERY door. Even the stair balusters bear stars...
The dome is quite beautiful. The star at the very top is a whopping eight feet across, and the star on the floor beneath it bears the symbols of Texas, the United States of America, the Confederacy, Mexico, and Spain. The dome is actually taller than the dome of the Capitol in DC! Although I can't compare the two, this one is certainly very beautiful and lovingly preserved.