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The Rotunda and Dome

Known to be the most impressive and breathtaking area of the Capitol is the Rotunda. This circular room is directly off the South Foyer and provides entrances to every part of the Capitol. On the walls of the Rotunda are portraits of Texas's former governors and past presidents of the Republic of Texas. These paintings line the walls of the Rotunda all the way up to the fourth floor of the Capitol.

This is the amazing Capitol dome which resembles the Nation's Capitol in Washington. The Texas star in the center of the dome is actually eight feet in diameter and looms 266 feet above the Rotunda's floor. The word "Texas" surrounds the star. If you clap your hands while standing in the middle of the Rotunda, you'll experience the amazing echo the domed ceiling produces.

The floor of the Rotunda, as well as most of floors throughout the Capitol, is made of terrazzo. Terrazzo is a mosaic flooring made by embedding small pieces of marble or granite in mortar and then polishing it until it is bright and shiny. The seals on the floor trace Texas history by representing the six flags that have flown over the state. The seal in the middle represents Texas as a Republic with its single white star and oak and olive branches symbolizing strength and peace. Directly below this seal is Texas in the United States. The other seals represent Texas under Spain, Texas under France, Texas under Mexico, and Texas under the Confederacy.

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