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Much of Virginia is close to the seat of national power, which means many important government buildings and agencies are found here.
Alexandria is home to the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Defense as well as the National Science Foundation, which welcomes visitors.
In Arlington the Foreign Service Institute is headquartered in the National Forest Affairs Training Center; the institute offers hundreds of courses annually. Also, in Arlington you can find the Army National Guard headquarters, which is in the Arlington Hall Main Building, a historic structure which dates to 1927.
Arlington is home to the granddaddy of all government facilities – the Pentagon, which is one of the world’s largest office buildings. Tours of the Pentagon are available but must be booked in advance; they last about an hour. Anyone can visit the moving National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial.
In Richmond, you can visit Old City Hall and the Virginia State Capitol – a stately structure conceived by Thomas Jefferson; free guided tours take place seven days a week.
The oldest courthouse in the U.S. in continuous use is the King William County Courthouse. Built in 1725, tours are available and there is a museum inside.
The Capitol of Virginia was built between 1785 to 1788 on Shockoe Hill in Richmond. The capitol building overlooks the James River in an area known as Capitol Square.
The monuments included in the Square are the George Washington Equestrian Monument, the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial and the General Thomas J. Jackson Statue. The Capitol building serves as the seat of the Virginia state government.
Whether on a guided tour or a self-guided tour of the Capitol building, enjoy seeing the revitalized 1900s era architecture. Browse the Visitor's Center to learn more about the history of Richmond and the Capitol building. The cafe and gift shop are also great places for taking a break.