The British Columbia Parliament Buildings In Victoria

When I first spotted the pale green and gold domes of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings in Victoria, I thought that it must be some kind of palace.

It stood out from all of the other buildings in a grandiose way and I found myself naturally gravitating towards it.

This architectural stunner was built in the late 19th century and was supposed to represent the success and continuous growth of the young province of British Columbia.

Basically it was built to show off. And more than a century later, it is still managing to show off extremely well.

The gold statue adorning the main dome is of Captain George Vancouver – the English naval officer who explored and chartered North America’s northwestern coast, including British Columbia.

Vancouver and Vancouver Island are both named after him.

A statue of Queen Victoria can be found in the grounds. It does not come out too well in photographs due to it being so dark, and the sun being so strong, but it had quite the presence.

Another impressive feature within the grounds is the water fountain.

The architect who designed the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, Francis Rattenbury, also designed another famous building in Victoria, the Empress Hotel.

Rattenbury was originally from Leeds in England.

I joined one of the free daily tours of the Parliamentary Buildings and was surprised when Rattenbury actually made a very pompous appearance…

Actors periodically go around and randomly jump in on the tours. This guy was brilliant. I did not have a clue what he was saying, but his facial expressions were priceless.

As were the dumbfounded expressions behind him.

A photograph of the Queen and Prince Phillip adorned the wall in one of the rooms.

I know everybody recently celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This stained glass window was created to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.

There was also a stained glass window commemorating Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

There is lots to see and admire, but I thought the loveliest feature was a rotunda, leading up to the domed ceiling.

I was lucky to have visited on a day when parliament was not in session.

This meant I was able to have a good look inside.

If you do ever find yourself in Victoria, it is definitely worth checking out the free tours at the British Columbia Parliament Buildings.

Have you ever visited here or would you like to?




  1. June 12, 2012 / 21:38

    Amazing photographs. I have seen the outside of these buildings many times but have not been inside. So thanks so much for posting.

    • June 17, 2012 / 22:05

      It was great that the tours were free. They seemed to be running throughout the day as well. Glad you liked the photos :-)