Saturday, May 29, 2010

St. Louis

Although I was only in St. Louis a week, looking back at all I did, I feel like I was there for a month. So, I am breaking my blog into several pieces. This one will cover a cathedral, a Lewis and Clark historical site, Cahokia Mounds and a brewery.
Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis

For 70 years they created these beautiful mosiacs

The cathedral was completed in 1914, although the mosiac was started in 1912 and not completed until 1988. Over 41.5 million pieces of glass and 83,000 square feet are covered in mosaics, making this one of the largest mosaic collections in the world.

The cathedral itself was impressive in its design, ornate beauty and decoration.

But the intricate mosaic work was spectacular. Friends that have been to Rome say this easily compares with what they saw.

Outside St. Louis is a replica of Camp Dubois. This is supposed to be the site Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1804 preparing for their epic journey north along the Missouri river on their way to the Pacific coast. Although never having found actual remains of a fort, from the journals it is believed to have been located in this area. The Lewis and Clark museum was quite good, too. It is from this place they left on May 16, 1804, on their Corps of Discovery.

Cahokia Mounds, east of St. Louis just across the river into Illinois, was once the largest city in America, north of Mexico. From about 700-1200 it was a bustling, thriving community, which at its height, had possibly up to 40,000 people. The mound above was the largest and on it lived the ruler, the elite and some ceremonial buildings. In 1250 A.D., Cahokia was larger than London, England.

Surrounding this main mound, which was 10 stories high and 4 levels, was a walled compound comprising 150 acres. But most of the common people lived outside the walls. It was a complex society where people specialized in jobs, trade and barter were common, and farming was a way of life. Off in the distance you can see another mound. So far they have identified over 120 mounds in about a 7000 acre area. Some mounds were burial mounds, others ceremonial mounds, and some were just community buildings.

Here is a view of how the mound looked during its use.

Climbing up to the top. The base of this mound covers 14 acres. All the dirt needed to build up this mound was hauled in. I'm glad I didn't have to be on that labor gang.

You can even see the St. Louis Arch in the distance.

Anheuser Busch started in St. Louis in 1852. Even during prohibition they continued to operate, producing a non-alcoholic beverage and some other products. They have been in continuous operation since.

Famous for their Clydesdales, I enjoyed watching these nibble at the tree leaves.

Some of St. Louis' oldest buildings are found right here at the brewery.

I liked this since Michelob is my favorite beer. Before prohibition brewerys were allowed to own and operate their own taverns, so the Michelob Tavern was opened in the late 1890s. Originally available only in draft and made with the finest ingredients, Michelob was the brewery's finest beer. Michelob was not available in bottles until 1961.

I kept seeing this picture throughout the plant. Still don't know exactly who she was or what she represents.

This is Bevo, the mascot and trademark for their non-alcoholic drinks.
Busch was the first brewer to use artificial refrigeration, freeing him from the limitation of storing his beer in caves. The brewer was also the first to implement a national transportation system by shipping their beer in refrigerated cars and establishing railside ice houses.

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