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Old State Capitol

Once the site of important political meetings, today this castle-like monument is home to the Museum of Political History.

Delve into centuries of Baton Rouge and Louisiana’s governmental past at the Old State Capitol. This handsome statehouse which dates back to the mid-1800s, stands proudly on a hill and looks out across the Mississippi River. Up until 1932, the Old State Capitol was the seat of the Louisiana State Legislative and also used as both a prison and garrison. It is now a designated National Historic Monument, which houses exhibitions about Louisiana’s fascinating political history.

The building itself is designed in Gothic style and bears striking resemblances to a medieval castle. Its façade boasts typical Gothic architectural aspects, including crenellations, towers and turrets. The capitol caught fire twice during the Civil War. A fire in 1862 almost ruined the building, which prompted author Mark Twain to say that it would have been more “to let dynamite finish what a charitable fire began.”

Inside, the distinguishing highlights are the regal spiral staircase, stained-glass windows and a stained-glass dome. The well-preserved chambers and function rooms now host the exhibits of the Museum of Political History.

Find interactive exhibits and video presentations that explain the trials and tribulations of Louisiana’s biggest political events. Follow in the footsteps of notable state governors such as Huey P. Long. Learn about Long’s assassination at Louisiana State Capitol in 1935 and see the gun supposedly used to shoot him.

Don’t miss the state-of-the-art Ghost of the Castle exhibit. It tells the story of the building’s chaotic history through the eyes of the ghost of Sarah Morgan. Morgan was a Baton Rouge resident in the second half of the 19th century and wrote a chronicle of her life during the American Civil War.

The Old State Capitol sits in the southern section of downtown Baton Rouge. It’s a just a short walk from Baton Rouge River Center and Shaw Center for the Arts. Metered street parking is available on the encompassing streets.

The landmark and museum are open from Tuesday to Saturday and admission is free.


Guide to Exploring around Old State Capitol


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Old State Capitol

See all 153 Properties near Old State Capitol
Hampton Inn & Suites Baton Rouge Downtown $111
Hampton Inn & Suites Baton Rouge Downtown

Hampton Inn & Suites Baton Rouge Downtown

462 Lafayette St, Baton Rouge, LA
     
    2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Mid City North, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Shaw Center for the Arts, Old State Capitol, and Louisiana Art and Science Museum. Pentagon Barracks and Louisiana State Capitol are also within 10 minutes.

    Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center $121
    Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center

    Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center

    201 Lafayette St, Baton Rouge, LA
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Baton Rouge, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Shaw Center for the Arts and Baton Rouge River Center. Louisiana State University and Hollywood Casino are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Belle of Baton Rouge Casino Hotel $125
      Belle of Baton Rouge Casino Hotel

      Belle of Baton Rouge Casino Hotel

      102 France St, Baton Rouge, LA
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Baton Rouge, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of USS Kidd Veterans Memorial and Baton Rouge River Center. Louisiana State University and Hollywood Casino are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        Courtyard by Marriott Baton Rouge Downtown $110
        Courtyard by Marriott Baton Rouge Downtown

        Courtyard by Marriott Baton Rouge Downtown

        260 Third Street, Baton Rouge, LA
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Baton Rouge, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Shaw Center for the Arts and Baton Rouge River Center. Louisiana State University and Hollywood Casino are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Holiday Inn Express Baton Rouge Downtown $87
          Holiday Inn Express Baton Rouge Downtown

          Holiday Inn Express Baton Rouge Downtown

          400 North Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Old Governor's Mansion and Baton Rouge River Center. Louisiana State University and Hollywood Casino are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            WATERMARK Baton Rouge, Autograph Collection $151
            WATERMARK Baton Rouge, Autograph Collection

            WATERMARK Baton Rouge, Autograph Collection

            150 3rd Street, Baton Rouge, LA
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Baton Rouge, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Shaw Center for the Arts and Baton Rouge River Center. Louisiana State University and Hollywood Casino are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Hotel Indigo Baton Rouge Downtown $107
              Hotel Indigo Baton Rouge Downtown

              Hotel Indigo Baton Rouge Downtown

              200 Convention St, Baton Rouge, LA
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Baton Rouge, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Baton Rouge River Center and Louisiana State Capitol. Hollywood Casino and Louisiana State University are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Perfect Downtown Spot Quick to Lsu, I-10, Mid-city
                Perfect Downtown Spot Quick to Lsu, I-10, Mid-city

                Perfect Downtown Spot Quick to Lsu, I-10, Mid-city

                Baton Rouge, LA
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in the heart of Baton Rouge, this historic condo building is within a 10-minute walk of Shaw Center for the Arts and Baton Rouge River Center. Louisiana State University and Hollywood Casino are also within 3 mi (5 km).