The Incredible Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri Graces This Souvenir Fridge Magnet
This fridge magnet show's St. Louis' most distinctive structure: the Gateway Arch. Part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the Arch was opened in 1967 and stands a glorious 630 feet (192 meters) tall. The entire Memorial (which also includes parkland, a historic courthouse and a museum) was designed to commemorate President Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase, when he bought the western half of the Mississippi Basin from the Napoleonic government of France. The Arch sits on the banks of the Mississippi River, in a place of particular importance. It was here that the French explorers founded the original settlement and it was the docks in this area where the Jefferson's party of exploration - the Lewis and Clark Expedition - began their westward trek. They have been joined by generations of Americans heading west since then, most prominently the wagon trains heading to places like Oregon and California.
Visiting the Gateway Arch is an Iconic St. Louis Experience
A symbol of the city and a must-see site for all trips to St. Louis, the Gateway Arch was designed to be accessible. Most tourists start at the visitor's center, which is located underground between the Arch's two legs. It houses two theaters and the Museum of Westward Expansion. There are three ways of reaching the Arch's summit from the visitor's center: elevator, tram and the stairs (used in emergencies only). The trams are shaped like eggs with futuristic interiors and can house forty passengers, they swing freely from the interior of the Arch like Ferris Wheel cars. At the Arch's top is the Observation Area, with a curved floor. To the west, visitors see the city of St. Louis stretching out before them and to the east, over the river, they can look out onto the state of Illinois and see the mounds of the Pre-Columbian Mississippian Culture, including the Cahokia Mounds (another must-see World Heritage Site).