Friday, May 19, 2006

Downtown Saint Louis at Dusk

Here is the Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, popularly called the Old Cathedral, located in downtown Saint Louis, Missouri, near the banks of the Mississippi River. At one time, this church was surrounded by a decrepit, dangerous warehouse district which served the steamboat trade. This was the Cathedral church for half of the United States.

With the historic warehouses cleared, the Gateway Arch was put in their place, symbolizing Saint Louis as the point of departure for the American West. This was the last colonial city in North America, and was well-connected with the North, South, and East via the river highways; beyond here to the West, travel became rough and dangerous. Saint Louis is in the Mid-West: the West itself starts at the Fall Line, where the rivers of the Piedmont drop onto the Atlantic Coastal Plain, and that is very far to the American East. The Far West starts on the other side of the state across the Missouri River from Kansas City.

The Old Cathedral is surrounded on three sides by the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Don't park at the church when visiting the Arch, especially during Sunday Mass. You may find that the parishioners' cars will fill the lot and you won't be able to move your car.

Another view.

The Old Courthouse, located across Interstate 70 from the Arch. The highway runs here through what is called the "depressed section". There are plans to roof over this part of the road to allow people to walk the grounds of the memorial, while avoiding traffic.

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