Tour Locations | Interstate 55: St. Louis, MO to Springfield, IL
LOCATION 9 | Interstate 55: St. Louis, MO to Springfield, IL
We have just entered upon the land where 800 years ago, was home to the largest prehistoric civilization north of Mexico. About 20,000 people lived where we are now, and while the civilization is best known for the large earthen mounds they left behind, they were quite advanced. To our right, just beyond the asphalt plant and next to the trees, we can see a replica of a large solar calendar they built here, just like Stonehenge, but with trees.
The civilization thrived here for 600 years before mysteriously disappearing sometime before 1350 CE. The center of their civilization was dominated by Monk’s Mound, the largest prehistoric earthen construction in the Americas. The Mound is straight ahead of us, about 500 yards on the other side of the bridge and just beyond the trees. The Mound is free to visit, and one only need to climb 156 steps to get to the top of the mound where a phenomenal panoramic view of the area awaits and where one can also see many of the 25 mounds that have been discovered within a half mile of here.
Cahokia Mounds is one of only 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United States, and it has an excellent free state of the art visitor center that provides excellent detailed information about the civilization that for centuries called where we are now…home.