The city was founded in 1764. Following the Louisiana Purchase it was the largest city west of the Mississippi and the 4th largest in the United States. Today, it is a large city with a smaller town feel.
The Gateway Arch was envisioned in the early 1930s, with the purpose of helping to revitalize the economy of cities on the Mississippi. After many delays in the process, the Arch was completed in 1965.
The 630 foot arch features an observation deck inside the arch which allows you to view the city of St. Louis and look across the river to Illinois. You will board a special elevator that can make the trip to the top of the arch, while keeping the passenger cabin level. It is a unique experience in itself. The views from the top are spectacular and highly recommended.
Near the south end of the Arch is St. Louis’ first Catholic church, The Basilica of St. Louis, King of France, who the city if named after. The original church was built in 1770, and the current Basilica was built in the early 1830s. The Basilica was built in the Greek revival style. The altar has a copy of Diego Velazquez’s painting of the Crucifixion. The Basilica also features a painting, Saint Louis venerating the Crown of Thorns, donated by King Louis XVIII of France.
Just a short walk from the foot of the Basilica is St. Louis Old Courthouse. The original Courthouse was started in 1816 and the building as it sits today was completed in 1864. It is no longer in use today. Visitors can see two different courtrooms, one restored to the 1850s style and the other to the early 20th century. The Courthouse was the place where many notable cases were heard, including Scott v. Sanford.
Just outside the Old Courthouse is a beautiful fountain. This is the Kiener Memorial Fountain and it features a statue by William Zorach at the center called “The Runner.” This fountain was donated by former Olympian and steel company executive, Harold Kiener. It is part of the Kiener Plaza, where many outdoor events are held in the city, such as rallies and concerts.
The ballpark celebrated its inaugural season in 2006. It has capacity for over 46,000 fans and features some of the great amenities new ballparks offer. The view out to centerfield is of the St. Louis skyline, including the Old Courthouse and the Gateway Arch. Food at the ballpark is great as well, with St. Louis specialties such as toasted ravioli and pork steak sandwiches. It is a great place to go with the family and watch a ballgame!