Actors dressed as colonial soldiers in Colonial Williamsburg.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Visit Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia and get a taste of Revolutionary America while touring the former state capitol. For anyone who loves history, or for anyone who needs a little more help to see what it was all about, Colonial Williamsburg will bring the past alive through dedicated reenactments of this pivotal time in America’s history.

As a prime example of a living history museum, all of the houses and buildings serve as miniature museums within the district, allowing for visitors to take a peek inside quilt shops, bakeries, black smiths, carpentry shops, and more, with workers dressed in traditional colonial costume and using colonial speech. The workers serve as guides within each of the buildings, and will help you to understand and appreciate more of the rich history of colonial America. Unlike other living history museums, Colonial Williamsburg is unique in that all of the buildings built after the colonial period have been removed, along with most of the former residents of the neighborhood. Some buildings are open to the public, while others are private residences and administrative offices. Visitors are allowed to walk free of charge through the historic district at any hour of the day, with fees only applying to the entrance into certain buildings and performances.

Highlights of the historic district include the Governor’s Palace, the Capitol Building, the Bruton Parish Church, and the Raleigh Tavern. These buildings were restored and brought back to their colonial origins through generous donations of the Rockefeller family in the 1930’s, who wanted to celebrate early American history in a lasting way. If you are interested in visiting a historic town that is truly illuminating and engaging, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia may be just the destination for you.

Special continuing events include theatrical reenactments of historic events and individuals; arts and crafts demonstrations; and The Grand Illumination, a celebration and mass held every December.  August 27, 2010, by Mercedes Mandich

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation operates the world’s largest living history museum in Williamsburg, Virginia—the restored 18th-century capital of Britain’s largest, wealthiest, and most populous outpost of empire in the New World. Here we interpret the origins of the idea of America, conceived decades before the American Revolution. The Colonial Williamsburg story, “Becoming Americans,” tells how diverse peoples, having different and sometimes conflicting ambitions, evolved into a society that valued liberty and equality. Americans cherish these values as a birthright, even when their promise remains unfulfilled.

In Colonial Williamsburg’s 301-acre Historic Area stand hundreds of restored, reconstructed, and historically furnished buildings. Costumed interpreters tell the stories of the men and women of the 18th-century city—black, white, and native American, slave, indentured, and free—and the challenges they faced. In this historic place, we help the future learn from the past.

When it was completed in 1722, the Governor’s Palace, the residence of Virginia’s royal governor, was considered one of the finest buildings in British North America. The elegant and imposing residence of seven royal governors and the commonwealth’s first two state governors, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, was reconstructed on its original foundations and opened to the public in April.

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Website: Colonial Williamsburg – Official Web Site of Colonial Williamsburg, the World’s Largest Living History Museum. http://www.history.org/