Richmond is an American city, the capital of the state of Virginia, with a population of about 204,000. The city's strategic location on the James River, proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and distance of only 148 km from the capital Washington, make it developed in all areas of commerce, law, finance, biotechnology, food industry and other branches of the economy.
Declared the capital of the state of Virginia in 1780, the city of Richmond occupied an important place in the American Civil War, when it was the capital of the Confederate States of America. Having gone through many obstacles in its rich history, Richmond has rebuilt and maintained its charm.
Like any major city, Richmond has a major boulevard, Monument Avenue, which is its history. This street, which is one of the 10 largest in the state, is notable for its historic architecture, town homes, religious architecture, a variety of green spaces and numerous monuments, some of which are to American Civil War veterans. Here could be seen the bronze statues of: JEB Stuart-general of the Confederate Army who inspired the Southern spirit; Jefferson Davis-American politician and president of the Confederate States of America; Jason, Matthew Fontaine Maury, of General Lee and many others. In the summer of 2020 during civil unrest, some of these historic monuments were removed from their pedestals. But the boulevard remains a place to walk, meet, and hold more important events for the city.
Richmond is considered Virginia's "tallest city" because of the tall buildings in the central business district, which is situated around the beautiful white Virginia State Capitol building designed by Thomas Jefferson. The first building was completed in 1788, and the current building is the eighth to be designated a National Historic Landmark.
Jackson Ward is a historic African-American neighborhood in Richmond with a long-standing tradition. Near the Capitol, this neighborhood holds an important place in the city's past.
Another important building in downtown Richmond is the 1971 Coliseum, with a capacity of 13,500 people,which is used for major concerts and events such as basketball championships, professional wrestling, and the spectacular event of professional bull riders.
Richmond City Hall with its observation deck on the 18th floor provides an impressive view of the city's most interesting buildings.
The historic train station on one of Richmond's main streets was built in 1901 in the Renaissance Revival style. The ornate station is known to locals as the Clock Tower. Renovated in 2003, this fine building continues to serve trains and passengers as in 1970 the station, along with the last train from that distant time, was designated a National Historic Landmark.
Another important Richmond landmark is St. John's Episcopal Church. St. John's Episcopal Church is the oldest in the city, built in 1741 by Colonel Richard Randolph. The church is famous for the speech delivered by Patrick Henry in 1775 and his famous phrase, "Liberty or Death". This speech was crucial to Virginia's participation in the First Continental Congress and setting the course for revolution and independence.
After strolling along the city's most famous avenues, it's time to take in some of Richmond's other attractions. The city's oasis is the 100-acre Maymont Mansion, established in 1893 by wealthy lawyer and philanthropist Jayme Hooley and his wife Sally. Located high above the James River, the mansion was named after the lawyer's wife, Sally Mae.After their deaths, the mansion became the town's public park where they lived happily. The beauty of the gardens in the park are its best thing. The Japanese Garden, designed by a Japanese gardener features a koi pond or lake-scape with stepping stones for walking in the water and a large waterfall.
There are also lots of flowers, red maplesand rockeries. The Italian garden has a large number of covered walkways (pergola), fountains and especially the presence of the queen of flowers-the rose, in different colors. The multi-level design of the garden creates the feeling of a vast space and is borrowed from the Villa Torlonia near Rome, which was Mussolini's private residence. In addition to the Japanese and Italian Gardens, there are 10 more dedicated gardens in the park, which are popular for outdoor wedding celebrations.The estate also has a wonderful collection of fairies to explore. There are benches for relaxing under the shade of the huge rare exotic trees and the park is free to visit.
There is another interesting 15th century manor house in Richmond - Agecroft. The Tudor manor's original location was in the historic county of Lancashire in England. A wealthy entrepreneur, Thomas Williams of Richmond, purchased it and so the dismantled buildings, carried across the ocean, ended up on the banks of the River James in Richmond. On 23 acres in 1928, a mansion reminiscent of its English predecessor was built.After Thomas Williams' death, Agecroft Hall became a museum according to his will. A walk around this estate is pleasant and interesting.
The museum of American writer Edgar Allan Poe is housed in a stone house that is the oldest original dwelling in Richmond, built in 1740 by a German immigrant. The famous writer did not live in this particular building, but it houses one of the world's largest collections of original manuscripts, letters and first editions of Edgar Poe. The museum also displays furniture from the homes the writer lived in while he resided in Richmond, including his sister's piano. And the courtyard behind the museum is a garden inspired by Poe's poem "To One in Paradise" - the Fountain, the Sanctuary and many flowers and fruit trees.
Walking around Richmond you can't help but notice the tall tower called the Carillon Memorial. Located in Byrd Park and built in 1932, the tower is a memorial to those who died in World War I, and its 56 bells ring out the area on holidays such as Veterans Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
The American Civil War Historic Tredegar Center is housed in the Richmond Iron Works, where munitions needed by the Confederate States Army were manufactured. The plating of the first Confederate warship, which participated in the historic Battle of Hampton Roads in 1865, was also made here.
For art lovers is the Richmond Museum of Fine Arts, which, with more than 35,000 works, is one of the most extensive art museums in America.It was established in 1919 when wealthy judge John Burton Pate gave 50 works of art to Virginia. In the following years, in addition to donations from private collectors, a theater and a new wing were added to the newly established museum, and in 1976 the museum's sculpture garden was completed. On view here: an African permanent collection, with works and artifacts and including a preserved mummy; a collection of ancient Egyptian art; an Asian collection, including one of the largest collections of Himalayan art in the Americas; European art; and contemporary exhibitions with Art Nouveau and Art Deco collections.
Impressive is the extensive Russian collection of 400 decorative arts objects owned by the wealthy American Lillian Pratt. A passionate admirer of the famous jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé, she commissioned much of her jewellery from him. According to her will, the entire collection of beautiful objects was left to the newly opened Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Among the fine objects are pins, bracelets, portraits, miniatures and five Easter eggs made for celebrities by Fabergé.
So for those interested in art, the Richmond Museum of Fine Arts offers an impressive experience. There's also a restaurant where you can complete your art world tour.