St. Louis is a city with a deep-rooted history and culture, located on the eastern edge of Missouri, where the Mississippi and Missouri rivers meet, just across the Illinois border. It is renowned for its Gateway Arch, the tallest monument built in the United States at 630 feet (190 m). The Arch pays tribute to Thomas Jefferson and St.
Louis' position as a gateway to the West. Indigenous people in the area constructed numerous temples and residential embankment mounds on both sides of the Mississippi River, with the Cahokia Mounds being the regional center. The many significant earthworks of St. Louis earned the city the nickname Mound City, although most of these mounds were demolished during the city's development. St.
Louis is also renowned for being the gateway to westward exploration, the home of blues music and its unique combination of Midwestern and Southern culture. In 1763, the French director general of Louisiana granted the firm Maxent, Laclede and Company exclusive rights to trade with the Indians in a grant territory that included both the Missouri River and the Mississippi River, from Illinois to St. Louis. A party led by Pierre Laclede set out to establish a suitable trading post and eventually settled on the east side of the river at Fort Chartres.
After exploring the west side during winter, Laclede determined that a location slightly below Missouri would be ideal for their settlement. On February 14th, 1764, a group of 30 people arrived at this site and began to build a settlement which they named St. Louis in honor of Louis XV, then king of France, and Louis IX, patron saint of the current king. German immigration to the United States increased after the failed revolutions of 1848, and St. Louis rapidly developed a significant German population.
The abolitionist sentiments of ethnic Germans were an important factor in keeping St. Louis and Missouri in the Union during the Civil War. No major clashes were fought in St. Louis, but it played an essential role in sending military supplies and caring for sick and wounded soldiers. In its more than 200-year history, St.
Louis and its people have achieved much in art, architecture, culture, athletics, music, and food. The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (1880) is one of the oldest in the United States; it also has an opera company and several theatrical organizations. The Jefferson Expansion National Monument is dominated by the 630-foot (192-meter) stainless steel Gateway Arch (196), designed by architect Eero Saarinen to commemorate St. Louis' historic role as “Gateway to the West”.
The site includes the Westward Expansion Museum; Old Cathedral (Basilica of St. Louis King; 1831-1833); Old Palace of Justice (1839-1862; now converted into a museum), which was scene of two of first trials in Dred Scott slavery case (1847 and 1850) and contains murals by Carl Wimar; Aloe Plaza with fountain by Swedish sculptor Carl Milles; Eugene Field's childhood home which is now a toy museum; Forest Park with art museum (located in World's Fair building), history museum, science center, and St. Louis Zoo. As you wander around St. Louis you can also check out its Walk of Fame which features many famous people from this city.
It was seat of government for District of Louisiana and from 1812 to 1814 it was capital of Missouri Territory. St. Louis has been an integral part of American history since its founding in 1764 as a gateway to westward exploration. Its unique blend of Midwestern and Southern culture has made it an important center for art, architecture, music, athletics, food, and more over its 200+ year history. The city has been home to some remarkable figures throughout its history such as Dred Scott who fought for his freedom in court here; Eugene Field who wrote some beloved children's poems; Carl Milles who created some stunning sculptures; Carl Wimar who painted some beautiful murals; Thomas Jefferson who was honored with an iconic arch; Pierre Laclede who founded this great city; and many more. Today St. Louis is still known for its Gateway Arch which stands tall as a symbol of America's westward expansion but it is also known for its vibrant culture which includes blues music, delicious food like gooey butter cake and toasted ravioli, professional sports teams like baseball's Cardinals or hockey's Blues, world-class museums like The Saint Louis Art Museum or The Missouri History Museum, beautiful parks like Forest Park or Tower Grove Park, unique neighborhoods like The Hill or Soulard Market Place. St.
Louis has been an important part of American history since its founding in 1764 as a gateway to westward exploration. Its unique blend of Midwestern and Southern culture has made it an important center for art, architecture, music, athletics, food, and more over its 200+ year history.