Like you, we here at the Oregon State Capitol Foundation are coping with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re staying home to stay safe and finding ways to make the most of time with our families.

Although the Oregon State Capitol is currently closed to the public, you can help beat cabin fever by taking an online virtual tour of the building.

Thanks to our donors, two years ago OSCF funded a virtual tour of the Capitol’s public areas. It’s a great way to see your Capitol — inside and out — when you can’t visit in person.

The virtual tour guides you through the Capitol and its grounds using 360-degree photos, audio narration, videos and text. It also has info for local history buffs, teachers and students, and how to get involved in Oregon’s democracy.

“It’s almost like having your own personal tour guide,” said Schoaps. “The Capitol may be closed at the moment, but this is a great way for anyone — especially curious kids — to learn about Oregon’s history in a fun and interactive way.”

Ed Schoaps, OSCF board member

Surrounded by Oregon’s past, inside and out

As you start the tour, you see the bronze state seal on the floor of the rotunda. Look around to learn about the inscriptions throughout the Capitol. Listen to the stories behind the people and events on the beautifully painted murals in the rotunda.

The murals throughout the Capitol represent key moments in Oregon’s history. They show off Oregon’s landscapes and bring to life the explorers, Native people and pioneers in our state’s past. You can learn about the artwork and exhibits, including the Capitol History Gateway Interpretive Center Experience.

Get transported to the observation deck atop the rotunda to take in the amazing view. You will see the Capitol grounds, historic downtown Salem, the Willamette Valley and beyond. You can also get an up-close look at the Capitol’s most eye-catching feature: a statue of the golden Oregon Pioneer.

Walk around the outside of the Capitol and up the front steps. Explore the Capitol grounds and State Capitol State Park. See the monuments, statues, fountains, other landmarks and the WWII Memorial. It is the only state capitol in a state park.

Our government at work

The flowing staircases leading from the rotunda serve as the gateway to the Senate, House and Governor’s ceremonial office. You have open access to the heart of Oregon’s government by entering the Senate and House Chambers. The chambers are rich in detail and Oregon symbolism. Names of those who shaped Oregon’s history are inscribed along the friezes. Get a bird’s-eye view of the chambers from their viewing galleries.

Look into the Governor’s ceremonial office. You will see portraits of past Oregon governors. This is where we welcome visiting dignitaries.  It’s also where we hold press conferences and public signings of important laws.

Anyone is welcome to see our legislators at work. Find out when the Oregon Legislature is in session and watch sessions and committee meetings live online

Take the virtual tour

Take the virtual tour of your Oregon State Capitol today on your PC or Mac. Mobile phone users can take the tour by texting Oregon to 24587. Once you can visit the Capitol in person, remember to launch the virtual tour on your phone to lead you through the building and all that’s waiting to be discovered.