St. Louis, Missouri – the Gateway to the West

Cosmopolitan, adventurous, exciting, friendly, multi-faceted – the famous “Spirit of St. Louis” once drew numerous people to the city in the US state of Missouri on the west bank of the Mississippi. But the “gateway to the west”, which was predicted to have a bright future at the beginning of the 20th century, is rusting. The population has been falling steadily since the 1950s, many properties have been abandoned and Saint Louis is now one of the most dangerous cities in the world. 25.5% of the population were below the poverty line in 2015.

But even if the paint is a little off, the city, which is also called “The Gateway City”, “Mound City”, “The Lou” or “Nellyville”, nonetheless has a lot to see for visitors and especially for children Offer.

Location and climate of St. Louis

St. Louis extends over an area of ​​around 170 km2, which is divided into around 160 km2 of land and 11 km2 of water. The entire city is built on terraces and cliffs that rise 30 to 60 meters above the western bank of the Mississippi River. It’s a fertile area here on the economic lifeline of the Midwest with low hills and wide, flat valleys. There are also many sinkholes and caves there.

The summers in St. Louis are hot and humid, the winters cold, with an average annual temperature of 13.9 degrees. In the transition zone between humid, continental and humid, subtropical climates, an average of 1040 mm of precipitation falls annually. Heavy thunderstorms occur frequently, especially in spring. The city is one of the metropolitan areas in the United States that is most frequently hit by tornadoes. In addition, there are always severe floods.

Economy, population and infrastructure in St. Louis

In St. Louis, manufacturing makes up the largest proportion, followed by health and social and service sectors. The largest number of employees, however, is in the health sector. With its location on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, St. Louis plays a major role in the transportation of bulk goods such as grain, coal, salt, certain chemicals, and petroleum products. Well-known local companies include Monsanto, Nestlè Purina Heimtierprodukte and the traditional Anheuser-Busch brewery.

The population has been falling steadily since the time after the Second World War, as more and more people move from the uninviting inner city to the more attractive suburbs. This is particularly evident in the area around St. Louis Lace Park and the formerly glamorous St. Louis Avenue. Horse-drawn trams used to run here, today the neglected ruins bear witness to the former splendor of the quarter, which at that time was mainly inhabited by German immigrants. Many abandoned house lots have been turned into small green spaces, making St. Louis the “City of 1000 Parks” today.

There are two airports in the city, Lamberg-Saint Louis International Airport and the smaller regional MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. There are also trains to Chicago and Kansas City several times a day, once a day to Dallas and San Antonio in Texasand three times a week to Los Angeles. The city is connected to other major cities in the country via the I-44, I-55, I-64 and I-70 highways. There is also a light rail system in St. Louis. The ” Route 66 “, whose original bridge over the Mississippi lies directly in St. Louis, has more historical significance.

St. Louis and Crime

Unfortunately, St. Louis also gained inglorious fame when it topped the US list of the most dangerous cities in 2006. In 2014 and 2015, it once again topped the list of cities with the most homicides in the United States, ranking 15th in the world.

Things to do in and around St. Louis

At the foot of Eads Bridge, Laclede’s Landing is a popular destination for those looking to see what St. Louis looked like in its heyday in the 19th century. Today there are many bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and theaters, most of the facades are still the original facades from that time.

Another historic district is Old North St. Louis with its community gardens and the ” Crown Candy Kitchen “With its many historical furnishings. The Anheuser Busch St. Louis Brewery and Tour Center with its beautiful beer garden is located in the historic Soulard district.

Sports fans will not only get their money’s worth with a visit to Busch Stadium at the famous St. Louis Cardinals, but also in Forest Park. There you will find a tennis center, a golf course, a boathouse with rental and an ice rink. If you want, you can also take a wonderful walk there or attend one of the many events.

But a ride in a hot air balloon or a steamboat or a visit to the Six Flags St. Louis amusement park are also worthwhile.

St. Louis and the music

Saint Louis and music are two things that are inextricably linked. After all, the metropolis is not only home to the world-famous Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, which was founded in St. Louis in 1880, but is also home to jazz legend Miles Davis and rock’n roll pioneer Chuck Berry. And of course there is the blues and with the National Blues Museum the only one of its kind devoted exclusively to the blues. Since the 1990s at the latest, St. Louis has also played a role in “country” music and has become a world center of rap and hip hop thanks to rapper Nelly and others.

Live music can be enjoyed year round in St. Louis. Worthwhile addresses are, for example, the ” BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups “, The” The Beale on Broadway “and the” Broadway Oyster Bar “.

St. Louis in a nutshell

  • The city is located in the state of Missouri on the border with Illinois
  • The metropolitan area extends on the west bank of the Mississippi
  • The best overview and view is from the Gateway Arch
  • The “Old Courthouse” and the “Missouri History Museum” offer the best overview of the city’s history
  • At Budweiser you can taste great brands of beer and learn a lot about the city’s brewing tradition
  • Forest Park, Saint Louis Zoo and the Botanical Garden offer plenty of green in the middle of the city
  • The St. Louis Art Museum shows many German paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries

St. Louis, Missouri