Tour the Old State Capitol

Experience the 19th Century like never before.

Delve into the politics and everyday life of the tumultuous 19th-century by touring this National Historic Landmark that served as Kentucky’s capitol.

The Old State Capitol building (1830-1910) was the setting for lively political debates as lawmakers grappled with such issues of the day as slavery and war. Today it is restored to the way it looked in the early 1850s and contains pieces original to that time. A young Gideon Shryock, the state’s first native-born professionally trained architect, designed this Greek Revival building. It is the third one to have served as Kentucky’s seat of government.

Tour the Old State Capitol and:

  • Stand on the spot where Henry Clay and other legendary lawmakers rallied their colleagues.
  • Learn about the intrigue and violence surrounding the 1900 gubernatorial election.
  • Marvel at the curved, self-supporting stone stairway and other architectural features of this Kentucky limestone building.

Dueling Grounds Experience:

The upper class, including Kentucky politicians who worked at the Old State Capitol, once accepted direct, one-on-one confrontation with weapons as a viable way to resolve conflict.

The Dueling Grounds experience is available Tuesday through Saturday through Oct 19 during Old State Capitol guided and self-guided tours.

Guided Tours: Tuesday-Saturday, starting at the Kentucky History Center, 100 W. Broadway. Times: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Walk-ins welcome Saturdays 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. through Dec. 14 for self-guided tours.

Groups: Call in advance to schedule a guided tour for groups of 10 or more.

For more information, call 502-564-1792.