The Saint Louis Arch

This world-famous national monument to the “Gateway of the West” – St. Louis is far more impressive when seen in person. I was completely shocked by its actual size, and also by the fact it is constructed of gleaming steel. When the sun shines on it, you would almost think you are looking at something made of Mother-of-Pearl. It is strikingly beautiful. The photo below was taken by sister (Leanne Hernandez) from the Mississippi River banks, and it is my favorite photo taken of the arch during our trip. Thanks, Leanne!

When we visited the Arch Monument site, we first watched the film of the actual construction of this monolithic structure. To say I was impressed is a major understatement, and I will further avow my everlasting admiration of all the men involved in this astounding project. There is absolutely NO way I could have done what they did . . . I doubt many could! These brave men were hundreds of feet in the air with very little to support them, and one of the most terrifying views below that I can even conceive of. If you ever get the chance to view this film, I hope you will do so. One very happy fact that was revealed was that there were NO fatalities during the construction, and it had been estimated that 13 lives would be lost. What an astounding degree of careful planning, careful footing, and stoic concentration on the part of these men to have achieved such a feat. Bravo to them, each and every one!!! While the photos (below) do not capture the sheer terror of their work, I wanted to include them in my narrative, as I think they are a lovely tribute to the men who brought us this much treasured monument.

When you stand beneath the arch, you can scarcely see the 16 windows that are at the very top of the arch . . . they look like tiny little dots. Trust me, though . . . when you are inside the arch, looking out of those windows, they are full size! One of the most interesting features of visiting the arch was the ride up. Small groups of visitors are ensconced in small individual capsules that bring space travel to mind. Due to the shape of the arch, you can feel the capsule being brought into the arc while traveling at a rate of speed that is a bit alarming. And, brace yourself if you decide to do this, as it zooms even faster going down! All in all, though, it was exciting and fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Photos: (Above) L – the sign inside the arch, marking the 630 foot mark. We all had our picture taken with this sign but I wanted to show it without people so that you could read it well. (Above – Top, R) – This was the actual view directly from our hotel room. Can you believe that? Only my sister could manage to get a room like that one!!! (Above – Bottom, R) – one of the views I took from the top of the arch. It was fun to find our hotel, and try to ascertain which room was ours. It wasn’t really too hard, with our outstanding view of the arch and the flags outside our window!

The photos above were pictures we took of the arch from the actual monument site, and aerial photos that we took from the 630-foot spot inside the arch. That’s what I call “A room with a view!”

If you haven’t ever visited the arch, I hope you will get a chance to do so. Going up inside is truly a singular experience that you will never forget!

Last modified on: May 17th 2012.