Magnolia Mound#11 in Best Things To Do in Baton Rouge
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For a peek into the lives of Louisiana's early settlers from France and the West Indies, pay a visit to the 900-acre Magnolia Mound. This plantation house dates back to 1791 and serves as a notable illustration of the French Creole lifestyle of the early 19th century. Aside from the house itself, the property also showcases a collection of Louisiana-made furniture from the state's colonial period, as well as English and French ceramics, decorative arts and crystal.
Magnolia Mound also serves as an important reminder of the role of enslaved people in Louisiana's history and prosperity. It is believed that as many as 79 enslaved people worked on Magnolia Mound by 1860. Though the plantation's original slave quarters were demolished, visitors will see a double slave cabin that was relocated to the property from another historic site in Louisiana. Other buildings on-site include an open-hearth kitchen, an overseer's house, an outhouse and a building used to house game birds called a dovecote.
Though you can explore the property on your own, visitors suggested you opt for the guided tour to gain a better understanding of the property's history. Aside from Magnolia Mound's buildings, reviewers were also impressed with the site's landscaping, particularly the live oak trees.
Magnolia Mound is located about 2 miles south of downtown Baton Rouge. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the grounds for $3 per person. Guided tours cost $10 per adult and $4 for kids ages 3 to 17; children 3 and younger can tour for free. Discounts are available for seniors and members of the military. Guided tours begin on the hour from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Know that guided tours are limited to four people per tour because of the coronavirus pandemic. The property welcomes visitors Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit the official website.
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#1 Louisiana's Old State Capitol
A National Historic Landmark, Louisiana's Old State Capitol is not your average capitol building. Designed in a Gothic Revival architecture style and constructed between 1847 and 1852, the exterior of the building looks like a medieval fortress. Created by architect James Harrison Dakin, the building is accented with towers, stained-glass windows and cast-iron – a design aesthetic that Dakin referred to as "Castellated Gothic." Though it's no longer used for official government business (lawmakers started using the new state capitol beginning in 1932), it's open to the public and houses a number of exhibits, including a multimedia presentation about the ghost of Sarah Morgan, a Civil War-era figure who kept diaries of her experiences throughout the war.
Past visitors called the building a "must-see" while in Baton Rouge. Reviewers were particularly impressed by the stained-glass windows and spiral staircase.
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