Thursday, February 17, 2011

Window on Canada: British Columbia Parliament Buildings


Architect Francis Rattenbury, who was 25 at the time, won the bid to in the 1890s to design the new BC Parliament Buildings in Victoria. He was also the designer of The Fairmont Empress Hotel, located just across the street. The iconic hotel was built in 1908.

Inside the parliament buildings are gold and silver leaf, murals, ornate plaster details and colorful walls and ceilings. Solid marble columns, statuary and stained glass also make up the mix. The grounds are also lovely, and include flower gardens, fountains and statues. The one in the foreground is of Queen Victoria. Free tours of the BC Parliament Buildings are given Monday-Friday.

The Legislative DIning Room is open to the public for lunch between 11:30 AM and 1 PM when the Legislative Assembly is in session. Diners should obtain a visitor pass from the Legislative Security Desk, located just inside the main entrance. For reservations and information, call 250.387.3959.

BC Parliament Buildings overlook Victoria's Inner Harbour on Vancouver Island
Photo by Sue Frause