Edmonton is home to a diverse array of historic buildings. Among the most iconic ones is the seat of power for the provincial government – the Legislature.
So, what is the Alberta Legislature Building?
The Alberta Legislature Building is a heritage building built in 1913 that serves as the meeting place of the Executive Council of Alberta and the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.
It is a five-story structure with Beaux-Art-style architecture that appears like a cross with a rotunda connecting the central assembly halls and the east and west wings.
If you plan to see this historic site soon, we’ll guide you! Let’s take you through the top attractions in the Alberta Legislature Building.
Things to See and Do in Alberta Legislature Building
1. Enjoy free guided tours
Image Source: ToDo Canada
If you want to discover more about Alberta’s legislative process, there’s no better place to start than the Alberta Legislature Building.
The free guided tour lasts for 45 minutes and is offered every hour. Just note that the schedule for tours is from Wednesday to Sunday (also holiday Mondays), 11 AM to 3 PM.
With the help of experienced tour guides, you can explore the whole building and learn the story behind the arts and architectural structures inside. Moreover, the tour also covers topics about Alberta’s political history, governance, and parliamentary tradition.
If you have extra time, you can also visit the Legislative Assembly, where the laws of the land are passed. We recommend this for people of all ages because the tour is fun and informative.
However, registration is required since the space can only accommodate a limited number of visitors a day. Make sure to book a reservation through their website.
2. Take in the view of the North Saskatchewan River
Image Source: Tripadvisor
This heritage structure is one of the most prominent structures in Alberta. It symbolizes the province’s integrity, history, and legislative proceedings, but this doesn’t mean you can’t relax inside.
You see, it’s an expansive building set on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, so it features scenic views of the famous River Valley and 108th Avenue.
Moreover, the grounds and back part of the Legislature building are open to the public so they can be used for social and business functions such as parties, meetings, and get-togethers.
3. Appreciate its grand architecture
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Alberta Legislature Building, also known as “the Ledge,” is a living monument built a hundred years ago, so it has been renovated many times.
However, it’s still one of the most quintessential buildings in the city because of its striking architectural design and intricate color palette.
One of this structure’s character-defining elements is its prominent front portico, which features six Corinthian columns. These columns support the beautifully ornamented entablature and pediment.
Its clad dome, balustrades, and cornice are also adorned with symmetrical patterns, arches, wreaths, garlands, and ornamental carvings. Indeed, this structure is a haven for architecture and design enthusiasts.
4. Get photos of the statues and memorials
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Borealis Gallery exhibits various works that showcase Alberta Legislature’s history. Its main role is to educate locals and tourists about the role of parliamentary democracy in the province.
In summer, this site is open from Wednesday to Sunday (also holiday Mondays) from 11 AM to 4 PM. Alternatively, you can visit around 12 PM to 3 PM during fall and winter.
While you’re inside, we also recommend visiting the Pehonan Theatre. It features a 360-degree screen that offers an 11-minute 4D musical film, Our People our Province.
This film is about Alberta’s social and political history. If you’re coming with your kids or going on a tour with students, don’t forget to visit this spot.
5. Explore the rotunda and promenade
Image Source: ToDo Canada
The building’s marble rotunda is a must-see because it’s embellished with gold highlights, intricate ornaments, and polished brass fixtures. It’s an eye-catching area, so many visitors go there to snap a pic or two.
If you want to snag Instagrammable pictures, go to the rotunda and find the decorative pool, which is lit up from underneath. We also recommend posing on the main floor’s great marble staircase.
Furthermore, the ground and promenade are also a sight to behold during the holiday season. These areas are also an excellent photo spot as Christmas approaches because over 500 trees around the building are adorned with over 200,000 lights.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a souvenir or gift for your friend or family, you can drop by Capital Gifts. It’s a retail store that offers select local goods, specialty books, and other souvenirs.