Saint Louis city (1990 population 396,685; metropolitan area 2,444,099), East Missouri, on the Mississippi River, below the mouth of the Missouri; settled 1764, inc. as a city 1822. The second largest city in the state, it is a major river port, rail hub, financial center, and market. Its manufactures include chemicals, transportation equipment, electronic components, textiles, and beer.
Originally a fur-trading post, it was held by the French and the Spanish and passed to the U.S. by the LOUISIANA PURCHASE. The gateway to the Missouri River. and the West, St. Louis grew rapidly after the War of 1812. Eero SAARINEN's Gateway Arch, 630 ft (192 m) high, is its best-known landmark. Washington University, Saint Louis University, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra are three of the city's many well-known institutions.
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