Eureka Springs, ARK – Birthday Trip, April 2015

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This post recaps an awesome trip I took back in April for my birthday weekend where we visited Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  As some of you already know me and my wife try to find as many weekend get away trips as we can.  With us living in St. Louis there is actually a huge list of places within driving distance to check out.  Eureka Springs is only about 5 hours away, so not too shabby for an overnight or weekend trip.  Every time I drive to Arkansas I am always reminded of the beauty this state has to offer.  Eureka Springs is very similar to what you would experience by driving through the rural areas around Table Rock Lake in Missouri, but I would say it’s a bit more grand.  For instance, you are pretty much driving up the side of a small mountain once you start commuting around the “city” of Eureka Springs.  I was also surprised to discover the amount of religious monuments that are nestled within the hills of this area, and even if you are not very religious you will still appreciate seeing them as most of them are build in some grand manor or scale.  Below is a brief breakdown of the locations featured in my slideshow, as well as some basic facts on each place.  Enjoy, see the country, and drive somewhere over the weekend!  Go Explore!

Thorncrown Chapel

  • It’s 48 Ft High with 425 windows total…that’s over 6,000 Square Feet of glass!!!
  • Commissioned by Jim Reed as a place of reflection in 1979, opened to the public in 1980

Beaver Bridge

  • A suspension bridge stretching over the White River at the Arkansas side of Table Rock Lake
  • It is the only suspension bridge open to traffic in the state of Arkansas, built in 1949

Berlin Wall Section

  • It is an original 10 ft x 10 ft section of the wall given to the Church in the Grove in 1989
  • Has 23rd Psalm written on it in German which translates to “Though I walk through the dark valley, I will not fear”
  • Is a tribute to people who risk their lives for the believe and practice of the Christian faith

Blue Springs Heritage Center

  • The natural Blue Spring pours 38 million gallons of water from it’s center into a trout filled lagoon
  • Their are signs in the area of the park that show their was prehistoric civilizations living close to the spring
  • It was crucial in helping the Cherokee Indians survive as they passed through Blue Springs on their tremendous journey across the county while following what is historically known as the Trail of Tears

Christ of the Ozarks

  • Built in 1966 and stands 65.5 ft high
  • It is home of the “Great Passion Play” and the production is put on 5 nights a week on the grounds where the statue is, which also houses a 4,100 seat outdoor amphitheater

Crescent Hotel

  • Original built in 1886 but fell to ruins in 1908
  • Most controversially known for it’s time used as a hospital and health resort that was opened in 1937 by Norman G Baker
  • In 1940 the hospital was shut down and Norman was jailed for practicing medicine without a licence, he believed that the waters of Eureka Springs could cure any aliment
  • Opened back up as a hotel in 1997 and is currently believed to be haunted by ghosts of patients who stayed at the hotel when it was ran as a hospital
  • Ghost Hunters featured the Crescent on an episode in 2005

St. Elizabeth Church

  • Built in 1882
  • Grand architecture offers amazing stone craftsmanship and a walkway featuring sculptures that illustrate the stations of the cross

Eureka Springs Architecture

  • Many homes date back to the 1800’s and are nestled so delicately in the hills
  • Cobble stone streets make it easy to imagine the town when it was a booming center of trade in the early days of river and railway commerce
  • The local arts scene has done this town an immense justice and makes it a great tourist attraction
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