Frankfort- Kentucky State Capital

Frankfort- Kentucky State Capital


Isaac ShelbyFrankfort was established in 1786 by General James Wilkinson. How did General Wilkinson come up with the name Frankfort? Well, Frankfort is named after Stephan Frank, a frontier man who was killed in 1780 during a fight with an Indian. The fight happened at a local forting place on the river. Hence, the name Frankfort. Kentucky became the 15th state to join the United States when Frankfort was named the capital in 1792. Isaac Shelby was the first governor. 


Old State Capitol


Did you know that Kentucky has had not 1 or 2 but 4 capitol buildings since 1792! The first two capitol buildings were destroyed by fire. The fire is believed to have started when candles were used to light the buildings.  The first fire happened in 1813 and the second in 1824. The construction on the third capitol building was completed in 1830 (it is the one in the black and white picture). This building is still standing but it is now called the Old Capitol. If you get a chance you should swing on by for a tour. Why you ask? Well, because inside you will find a unique self-supporting staircase. Why is that important? Well, it is the only one of its kind in the whole world. I am sad when we went it wasn’t open but if we get a chance to go again that will be on my list of things to do.


The 4th and current capitol was started in 1904 and was completed in 1910. Which was built right in front of the Old capital. The current capital is made from marble and granite from all over the world and really is just so beautiful!! But the most interesting thing about the 4th one is it is topped with a 190 foot dome. But not only that. The dome changes colors. It is the only capital in the United States to do that. Kentucky’s capital is one of the most beautiful in the nation.

The dome is located in the rotunda. Aside from the beautiful dome light display, you can find four murals (Capitol Centennial Commission Legacy Project). The murals are nature, industry, culture, and civitas. The selected Nature to represent the bounty of the land, Industry to represent the power of commerce, Culture to represent the fruits of knowledge and civitas to represent the light of progress. The dome was completed in 2009 but wasn’t officially unveiled until 2010. This was one of the most expensive parts of the capital building. I myself think it is just beautiful! I could have stayed there watching the lights change for a while. LOL

Aside from the dome lights and the murals in the rotunda you can also find statues of these famous Kentuckians such as Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Henry  Clay, Alben Barkley, and Dr. Ephraim McDowell, and since it was December the rotunda was decorated beautifully for Christmas and there were many beautiful poinsettias around as you can see from the pictures.


Governor’s Mansion

On the east side of the state Capitol, you will find the Governor’s Mansion.  Since 1914, the mansion has been the home of Kentucky’s governors and their families.   The Capitol, the mansion is open for tours year-round. We ran out of time to get a tour but the outside is beautiful. They had a gorgeous lawn. Definitely on my list of things to do on the next trip. 



Doll Collection

Frankfort is home to the Kentucky First Lady Doll Collection. The collection showcases many of the inaugural gowns worn by first ladies and serves as a timeline of 200+ years of fashion. The dolls are beautiful. They have such an eye for details. You can view the doll display in the capital building.


Kentucky really is one of the most beautiful in the United States. If you ever find yourself in Kentucky please make time to visit this the capitol and all the surrounding buildings. It is a must do. My children really enjoyed it and they learned alot.

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42 thoughts on “Frankfort- Kentucky State Capital

  1. Frankfort looks like an amazing place to explore. My kiddos and I especially love exploring historical locations.

  2. That is interesting to know! I would also love to visit some day and see that staircase!

  3. The Dome seems to be amazing! Beautiful colors are revolving in it..:) .

  4. Wow! Thanks for adding the history to your post. I enjoyed learning more about Kentucky. The capitol building is beautiful!

  5. It’s great to learn about the history of the buildings. Thank you for the history lesson. I would love to go and see the colour changing dome. It’s so cool.

  6. What an absolutely beautiful looking place Frankfort looks like, I adore exploring historical places, our ancestors really made some beautiful buildings.

  7. Hi Adventuresofsuper8!
    Great post for parents! I try to take my children (even now that they’re adults) somewhere every year that can enhance their knowledge historically. I love seeing historic landmarks and going to museums in different parts of our country. Thanks for sharing! I will share this too!

  8. Jessica Taylor

    Wow this looks like a great place to visit! The structure looks amazing and the history behind it is awesome!

  9. Man, I miss traveling – I need to get back out there ASAP!

  10. I have never been to Kentucky let alone Frankfort (so many places I have never been to) but it sounds like a great place to explore! xx corinne

  11. Helene Cohen Bludman

    I love taking the family on trips that help us learn more about our country’s history. I hope to visit Frankfort someday.

  12. The architecture looks marvellous. Are those actual frescos on the ceiling? I have to see this in person, doubt the pictures do it actual justice.

  13. I love history, so checking this out would be so much fun! I am so impressed by the dome.

  14. Wow! I don’t read much about history but your post made me want to know more. It’s amazing how little knowledge one have and how much out there to learn about!

  15. Blair villanueva

    It is indeed a gorgeous place. I could imagine to held a pre-wedding photoshoot here.

  16. I am a huge fan of history so Frankfort has actually been on my bucket list for quite some time . Especially since my friend went out there on an exchange programme and said it was great!

  17. I love discovering the ancient historical spots and Kentucky through your illustration is very very attractive. Thank you for your knowledge and sharing. Hope oneday I can visit this place!

  18. I love reading about the history of places and how names were gotten. This was insightful and when I visit your state again, I’ll be better informed.

  19. I was in London Kentucky quite some time ago. It was very beautiful in it’s own way. I am sure I would enjoy seeing that building with the statues. I am always up for a bit of history.

  20. My kids and I especially love exploring things. I think this spin you have here is great. It is hard traveling with kids. This has helped. Thank you.

  21. I wish I could go to this place one day with my family.. You were able to showcase the place perfectly. Amazing! All ages will appreciate and enjoy the vacation for sure!

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