Visiting Saint Louis
St. Louis, an independent city in the U.S. state of Missouri, located near
the convergence of the Mississippi River and the Missouri River. It is at
the heart of the largest metropolitan area in Missouri. There are countless
museums and attractions in the city. The St. Louis Art Museum houses an
notable selection of modern art and ancient artifacts, with an broad
collection of master works of several centuries.
There are also a number of noteworthy churches in the city, including the
Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis or "the New Cathedral" as it is commonly
called. A large Roman Catholic cathedral fashioned in the Byzantine-
Romanesque style. The inside is adorned with one of the largest mosaic
collections in the world. The late Pope John Paul II visited the cathedral
as part of a two day visit to St. Louis.
The Gateway Arch is arguably the city's best-known landmark. A popular
tourist site, this memorial celebrates the achievement and settlement of all
of the lands west of the Mississippi. St. Louis is also called "Gateway to
the West" a reminder of the countless people who migrated west through St.
Louis via the Missouri River and other wagon trails.
A Brief History|
The city, as well as the future state of Missouri, became part of the
Spanish Empire after the French were defeated in the Seven Years' War. In
1800, the land was secretly transferred back to France, whose leader,
Napoleon Bonaparte, sold it to the United States in 1803. Nicknamed the
"Gateway to the West" for its role in the westward expansion of the United
States, the city gave the moniker in 1965 to the new Gateway Arch built as
part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial; the arch has become the
iconic image of St. Louis.
Once the 4th-largest U.S. city, St. Louis proper has seen its population
slip to 52nd. At the peak of the city's influence, St. Louis hosted the 1904
World's Fair and 1904 Olympic Games, both the first of their kind held in
the Western Hemisphere.
St. Louis has been at the forefront of the 21st-century wave of urban
revitalization, receiving the World Leadership Award for urban renewal in
2006. In 2008, the U. S. Census Bureau reported St. Louis had a net
population gain of 6,172 from the 2000 Census, to 354,361, the first gain
the city has had since 1950.