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One of the wealthiest cities in America during 19th century, Helena is the capital city of the state of Montana and the county seat of Lewis and Clark County. It is now home to an eclectic mix of architectural identity and historical heritage that together paint the paint the picture of its glorious days. This experience is seconded by its vibrant culture, pulsating nightlife, year-round festivals, shopping, music events, art galleries, outdoor sports and miles of wilderness. Some of the highlights here are Montana State Capitol, Cathedral of Saint Helena, Gates of the Mountains Wilderness, Spring Meadow Lake State Park and Mount Helena State Park.
Montana State Capitol
Montana State Capitol is known as one of the most beautiful state capitols in the United States. This late 19th century Greek Neoclassical masterpiece, made of Montana sandstone and granite, is heralded by a copper-covered dome atop which sits a statue of Lady Liberty. Its centerpiece is a gigantic rotunda that sits royally in the centre and is flanked by four 20th century circular paintings. Another star attraction here is a 1912 painting called the ‘Lewis and Clark Meeting the Flathead Indians at Ross' Hole.’ It was painted by Charles M. Russell and is 25 feet long and 12 feet high.
Cathedral of Saint Helena
The Cathedral of Saint Helena is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, Montana. This 20th century Gothic Revival architectural masterpiece was inspired by the 1908 Austrian classic Votivkirche (the Votive Church). The cathedral is noted for three spellbinding attributes: its 230 foot twin spires (that are hallmarked by 12 feet high gold-leafed crosses), a total of 11693 square feet of stained glass in 59 windows and a display of 29 statues of saints and other religious figures.
Gates of the Mountains Wilderness
The Gates of the Mountains Wilderness is a famous wilderness area near Helena that offers camping, fishing and occasional hunting opportunities. No logging or mining practices are carried here to ensure a consistent and pristine natural experience throughout the year. Geology students would find this place a prime example of ‘superposed streams phenomenon’ in which the rocks are uplifted due to a flow of a nearby river and that the river gains speed with gradual erosion of the rocks.