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Alabama State Capitol, Montgomery

4.3
#4 of 13 in Museums in Montgomery
Government Building · History Museum
The Alabama State Capitol, listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the First Confederate Capitol, is the state capitol building for Alabama. Located on Capitol Hill, originally Goat Hill, in Montgomery, it was declared a National Historic Landmark on December 19, 1960.
Alabama has had five political capitals during its history since it was designated as a territory of the United States. The first was the territorial capital in St. Stephens in 1817; the state organizing convention was held in Huntsville in 1819, and the first "permanent" capital was designated in 1820 as Cahaba. The legislature moved the capital to Tuscaloosa in 1826, where it was housed in a new three-story building. Finally, in 1846, the capital was moved again, when Montgomery was designated. These changes followed the development of greater population in the state, as European-American settlers moved in, often accompanied by their slaves, or purchasing more enslaved African Americans after arrival here. Large parts of the state were developed for King Cotton, and the population spread across it.

The 1826 State House in Tuscaloosa was later used as Alabama Central Female College. After it burned in 1923, the ruins were retained within Capitol Park.

The current structure in Montgomery is the state's fourth purpose-built capitol building: the first was in Cahaba, the second at Tuscaloosa, and the last two in Montgomery. The first capitol building in Montgomery, located where the current building stands, burned after two years. The current building was completed in 1851, and additional wings were added over the course of the following 140 years.
The current capitol building temporarily served as the Confederate Capitol while Montgomery served as the first political capital of the Confederate States of America in 1861, before Richmond, Virginia was designated as the capital. Delegates meeting as the Montgomery Convention in the Senate Chamber drew up the Provisional Constitution of the Confederate States on February 4, 1861. The convention also adopted the Permanent Constitution here on March 11, 1861.
In 1964, more than one hundred years later, the third Selma to Montgomery march ended at the front marble staircase of the Capitol, with the marches and events surrounding them directly leading to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
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Alabama State Capitol reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
400 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful building but not much to see other than the building and pictures of past government officials. Still worth the visit  more »
  • While we could not go into the building due to COVID, we did enjoy seeing the large bronze state map outside. The relief images included several Civil Rights peaceful protests, catfish farming...  more »
Google
  • On our way to Florida i wanted to stop and visit the Alabama Capital and surrounding buildings. What a beautiful area, so well maintained and clean. Possibly one of the nicest and striking architecture I've seen in a government area. Loved the photo opps and it was a Sunday so I had the place to myself. Good job Alabama!
  • Beautiful historic building with nice surrounding area. A long boulevard leads to the quite majestic capitol. You can find some information regarding the Civil Rights Movement's March from Selma to Montgomery. Very interesting as we were driving from Selma to Montgomery on the National Historic Trail. We saw the Alabama Secretary of State leaving the capitol building. Unfortunately the interior could not be visited in the late afternoon.

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