When you visit Colonial Williamsburg, you will immediately be
drawn to the historic sites and buildings found throughout the
town. Below are just some of the places to tour during your stay
in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Completed in 1722, the English Georgian style Governor's Palace
was built on the city's north side on Palace Street in
Colonial Williamsburg VA. It once housed Thomas Jefferson,
Patrick Henry as well as seven royal governors. The Palace
contained fine gardens, offices, walkways, orchards, a carriage
house and more. It hosted a number of balls and gala events when
it was used for the Governor's residence and continued to house
governor's until the government moved to Richmond VA in 1780.
In 1781, the Palace was used as a hospital and took care of
American soldiers who were wounded during the Battle of
Yorktown. Soon after, in December of 1781, the Governor's
Palace was destroyed by a fire in the basement. The site was
The College of William & Mary. From the 1930s -1980,
the Palace began reconstruction and was furnished with American
and British antiquities. Although beautiful, the Governor's
Palace did not bear much resemblance to its earlier days.
After an artifact providing a detailed description of the
interior was uncovered in 1981, a new wave of reconstruction and
Today, the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg has been
restored to its original grandeur. Take a tour of the Palace,
stroll through its exquisite gardens or watch a high cooking
arts demonstration in the kitchen. No matter what you do, you
will be amazed by this elegant building.
Capitol on Duke of Gloucester Street
After three fires claimed the Jamestown Statehouse, the Virginia
government was moved to Williamsburg where it became the
political center for VA. Soon after moving to its new
location, the construction of the Capitol building began, led by
contractor Henry Cary. The Capitol was made up of a two-story,
two building structure shaped in an H and connected by an
arcade. Each building was 75 feet by 25 feet. The east wing was
used for the House of Burgesses and its clerk, while the west
wing contained the General Court and the colony's secretary. The
committee rooms formed a bridge between the east and west wings.
This H shape structure reflected Virginia's two-house government
It took Henry Cary until 1705 to complete the Capitol. The
Capitol was used for legislation as well as for fun with dances,
suppers and social events taking place there. The building was
last used as a capital building in December of 1779.
Today, the Capitol in Colonial Williamsburg VA is the
third on the site after fire destroyed the original and its
successor. It looks much like the one Cary originally built and
can be toured. Every year, a naturalization ceremony is held
here where a new group of immigrants are welcomed as Americans.
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