New York State Capitol

State Capitol Building in Albany,New York
Photo by: jimbowen0306, Creative Commons

There are 62 cities in New York state. Of those 62 cities, which do you think is the state Capitol of the Big Apple? If you answered “New York City,” then you’d be surprised to know that you are dead wrong. The namesake city isn’t the Capitol of the so-called Empire State.

Albany is New York’s State Capitol and is located upstate Capitol District region, along with its neighboring counties of Schenectady, Rensselaer, and Saratoga. Albany is the oldest surviving settlement from the original thirteen British colonies that declared their independence from the British crown during the late 18th century and the second oldest state Capitol in the country.

It started out as a Dutch trading post until the British took over the town and renamed it as Albany after the English Duke of Albany. Albany might not strike a chord with many non-New York natives, but Albany—along with the rest of Capitol District counties—has played a significant role in many historical and industrial events in US history because of its location that enabled it to establish a stellar reputation as ideal transportation and business hubs. For instance, did you know that financial giant American Express was originally an express mail business in Albany?

People who want to learn more about New York have come to the right place because much of the state’s museums are located in the Capitol District. In Albany, there’s the Albany Institute of History and Art which is one of the oldest museums in the country and the New York State Museum, which is noted for its vast collection detailing the history of New York from its humble origins to present day New York. Art buffs can also make a stopover at Albany’s Empire State Plaza to witness first-hand examples of American modern architecture and art collections.

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