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The city of Richmond is steeped in history: its State Capital building was designed by Thomas Jefferson in 1788, and in the rotunda is Jean Antoine Houdon’s statue of George Washington. The Museum of the Confederacy and White House of the Confederacy is devoted to Confederate artifacts; the Richmond History Center/Valentine Museum holds an impressive collection of textiles, along with an 1812 Federal style home decorated with neoclassical murals. Allow time to visit the Richmond National Battlefield Park, eighty square miles covering ten battle sites of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Church Hill is Richmond’s oldest neighborhood ...

The city of Richmond is steeped in history: its State Capital building was designed by Thomas Jefferson in 1788, and in the rotunda is Jean Antoine Houdon’s statue of George Washington. The Museum of the Confederacy and White House of the Confederacy is devoted to Confederate artifacts; the Richmond History Center/Valentine Museum holds an impressive collection of textiles, along with an 1812 Federal style home decorated with neoclassical murals. Allow time to visit the Richmond National Battlefield Park, eighty square miles covering ten battle sites of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Church Hill is Richmond’s oldest neighborhood filled with 18th and 19th century homes. Located here is St. John’s Episcopal Church, built in 1741. This was the meeting place of the Second Virginia Convention in March 1775 that was attended by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. It was here that Patrick Henry made his famous anti-slavery speech, saying “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” After the Civil War the Jackson Ward district became a thriving African-American cultural center. Here you will find the greatest use of cast iron and filigree in architecture outside of New Orleans. The Fan District with its streets fanning out from Virginia Commonwealth University is the United States’ largest intact Victorian neighborhood. Shockoe Slip and Shockoe Bottom were Richmond’s commercial trading centers. The district is now home to rehabilitated warehouses filled with upscale restaurants and shops.

Frances Folsom
About the Expert

Frances Folsom is the author of CitySpot Palermo, a contributor to the Reiskits guides to Milan and Italy's Lakes Region, and Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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