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Visiting St. Louis, MO, USA
The Gateway Arch of St Louis has always been on our list of places to visit...So, we decided kick off our '2009 places to visit list' by a weekend trip to St Louis on our anniversary. We left Louisville at around noon on January 23rd, and reached St Louis after a smooth journey of around 6 hrs...We still had an hour to spare before sunset since St Louis, Missouri in under central time zone...We celebrated our anniversary over a wonderful dinner at Red Lobster, a place which we wanted to try out for long..and what a dinner it was!!!
The aim of this trip was to spend most of the time relaxing in the comforts of our hotel room, which is what we did...but for the one place we wanted to see...The Gateway Arch...It is also known as the Gateway to the West, is an integral part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and is the iconic image of St. Louis, Missouri. It was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947.
It stands 630 feet (192 m) tall, and is 630 feet (192 m) wide at its base, making it the tallest monument in the United States. The Arch is made of Stainless steel covering and the interior is hollow and contains a unique transport system leading to an observation deck at the top.
Underneath the Arch is a visitor center, entered from a descending outdoor ramp starting at either base. Within the center is the Museum of Westward Expansion, exhibits on the history of the St. Louis riverfront, and tram loading and unloading areas. It also encompasses 2 theatres as well as a souvenir shop. The museum had beautiful murals picturing nature in its different forms, and they were simply awesome...We were quite amazed by the way the museum was maintained, and to be frank, this is one of the most interesting museums we have ever visited!!!