The Old State Capitol in Louisiana was a surprise for our family of four.
Gary and I planned only three nights in Livingston, Louisiana.
This meant we only had two days to explore Baton Rouge.
Even though I didn’t have much time to research Baton Rouge,
I was surprised by how much I found for us to see, explore, and learn.
I found more sightseeing adventures in Baton Rouge
than we could possibly experience in two days time.
We began our sightseeing adventures at the Louisiana’s Old State Capitol.
We were surprised to find high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River,
a capitol building which looked like a medieval fortress.
We were not surprised to learn
that this capitol building has won many architectural awards.
Once inside, we were surprised to find . . .
an impressive cast-iron staircase leading to . . .
a colorful display of stained glass.
we were surprised to discover that most rooms were open for exploring.
We started our self-guided tour in the stunning rotunda.
We were surprised to see and hear about Louisiana’s colorful past
through paintings of past governors
who came to life in an interactive exhibit in the Governor’s Portrait Gallery.
In the Governor’s Office, we were surprised to learn
that John J. Audubon lived four months at Oakley Plantation
and painted 32 of his famous bird pictures in Louisiana.
I was surprised to see a sampling of Audubon’s paintings of Birds of America
in the Governor’s Office.
(But I wasn’t surprised that these paintings didn’t photograph well.)
In a special showing,
“River and Reverie”
Paintings of the Mississippi River
we were surprised to see that according to artist Rolland Golden
“. . . the (Mississippi) River is rarely brown. It’s reflecting color in the sky.”
But what surprised us the most at Louisiana’s Old State Captiol
was how we were drawn into The Legacy of Huey Long.
In this exhibit, it was up to us to decide:
Was Huey Long a savior? Or a destructive tyrant?
And Who shot Huey Long?
As our family walked away from Louisiana’s Old State Capitol,
not only were we surprised by how much we enjoyed a visit to a medieval fortress
built on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River,
but we were also surprised that there was more to see in Baton Rouge.