About every half hour, tours wander through the Capitol giving visitors the chance to discover more about the history of the building. You can see the House of Representatives and the Senate chambers – as long as sessions are not ongoing. You pass through the State Library and can sit behind the Governor’s desk – as long as he/she is not sitting there. You also get the chance to get up close to the murals of John Steuart Curry and Lumen Martin Winter which adorn the walls in and around the rotunda. Realize that during the Capitol’s renovation the murals could be covered up to protect them from potential dust as they were on my visit.
Capitol buildings are usually finely wrought affairs with a bit of history tied up in them and the Capitol here in Topeka is a fine example. The building took place in stages from 1866 until 1906 with the two wings being completed before the central rotunda connected the separate wings. Four similar entrances are located on each side of the building and after some discussion it was decided that the north entrance was to be the main entrance. That was changed in 1947 to the south side. Once again, the north entrance will be the main entry upon the completion of the vast multimillion dollar multiyear Capitol renovation project. The renovation project is something that may wreck havoc with a visit to the building. As interesting as the building is, the main draw is found on the second floor just off the rotunda. Here, you will find two walls of murals completed in 1940 by Kansas native John Steuart Curry – ‘Tragic Prelude’ and ‘Kansas Pastoral’. At the time of my visit, the more well-known ‘Tragic Prelude’ was covered up! There are two different tours offered which can further enlighten you on the building’s history and highlights … or just read further ;-]
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site
The Road to Justice
The story of Brown v. Board of Education, which ended legal segregation in public schools, is one of hope and courage. When the people agreed to be plaintiffs in the case, they never knew they would change history. The people who make up this story were ordinary people. They were teachers, secretaries, welders, ministers and students who simply wanted to be treated equally.
Is history a bunch of dry dates, boring numbers and names of people you've never met? Visit the Monroe School and much of that will change. You'll be amazed at what has happened in your own life time. Sit down and enjoy the 5 movies on Justice, Military, Education, ..., ...., and see real people looking for equality and what it took to finally move in that direction. Each movie is about 5 minutes and they are well done.
Cedar Crest is home to the governor of the state of Kansas. This twelve room French-Norman mansion was built in 1928. The more than 200 acres of nature, jogging and walking trails, and ponds surrounding the mansion are open to the public. Tours are available on Monday afternoons 1 to 4 pm.
Kathleen Sebelius is currently governor of the state.
There is no undoubtedly no painting in the state of Kansas that has been reproduced in as many places as this John Stuart Curry's mural on the east wing of the second floor of the State Capitol Building in Topeka. The wild-eyed fury of militant abolitionist, John Brown, dominates the bloody civil war battle scene. A fast-moving prairie fire in the background may well symbolise the blazing conflict in which the free-state Kansas were engaged with pro-slavery forces from Missouri.
*If you are curious as to the photo's caption referring to a Bible in each hand: In order for sympathetic easterners to ship rifles to the anti-slavery Kansas Territory settlers, they packed rifles in boxes marked "Bibles" and addressed them to "Beecher Bible Church." These rifles became known as "Beecher Bibles."
there are so many Parades throughout the year. Go see them in Downtown Topeka. There you can also visit the capital building which is very pretty from the outside and has a lot of cultural stuff inside!
Also, you must go to the TCT (Topeka Civic Theater)!! It's absolutely wonderfull there! They have Musicals, Drama's...throughout the year. I often went there on the weekends, it's really a lot of fun!
The picture on the left was taken on St. Patrick's Day in Downtown Topeka!
The Kansas Expocentre is a large building where many events are held.
All kinds of events are held there. I have been to the Expocentre too see a circus, bid on llamas at auction, look at new kinds of farm equipment, and see home improvements exhibited by hundreds of retailers.
This is another picture inside the Kansas State Capitol. The mural in the background through the arch is probably the most famous of them all in the capitol building. It depicts John Brown holding a bible in one hand and a rifle in the other. He stands over the bodies of a confederate and a union soldier. In the background are flames. The mural reminds us of a time when my state was known as Bleeding Kansas and men faught and killed one another before and during the Civil War here.
Kansas History Museum is a large museum that will take some time to enjoy. There are many exhibits inside and some of them are quite large. There is a train inside if that will give you an idea how big the place is.
There is a nature and hiking trail out side of the building as well.
Gage Park is one of many parks in Topeka. I think it is the biggest park with the most to offer. The Topeka Zoological Park is there. In warmer months there is a mini-train and carousel to ride. Reinish Rose Garden is fragrant and has many beautiful roses. I've added photos to a travelogue that were taken in the zoo.
Rose Garden, Mini-Train, and Zoo all in one Park.