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Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, Bild: Nagel Photography / shutterstock

Missouri – the 24th state of the USA

The state of Missouri got its name from the Missouri River and the Missouri Indians and has been part of the United States of America since 1821 as the 24th state. The 180,533 km² state is located in the middle of the west of the USA, where around 6 million inhabitants live. The capital is called Jefferson City, where about 50,000 people live. Missouri borders the states of Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Arkansas, Nebraska, Tennessee, Oklahoma , and Kansas. As a state located in Tornado Alley, it is known for a particularly high number of tornadoes in spring.


St. Louis, Route 66
St. Louis, Image: Rudy Balasko / shutterstock

The state of Missouri is known for its breathtaking and diverse landscape. The most notable rivers that flow through the state are the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Both are the main transport routes in this area. The Mississippi, often called the Old Man River, has a length of 3,778 km. Many cities such as St. Paul, Minneapolis, Davenport, New Orleans, St. Louis, Memphis , and Baton Rouge are located directly on the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River flows into the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans .

With a delta size of more than 12,000 km², it is one of the largest estuaries in the world. The Mississippi joins the Missouri River at St. Louis. Both are a total of 6,051 km long. The Missouri River alone is approximately 4,130 km long and is considered a tributary of the Mississippi, although it is actually longer than the Mississippi. It is formed by the confluence of the Madison River and the Jefferson River in the state of Montana. Other well-known rivers in the country, which are mainly used for recreational activities such as kayaking, are the White River, the Francis River, the Osage River and the Gasconade River. In addition to the rivers, there are also numerous (reservoir) lakes in the state of Missouri. These include Lake of the Ozarks, Big Lake (Missouri’s largest oxbow lake), Bull Shoals Lake, and Truman Reservoir, which is the largest reservoir in Missouri.

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Among the most famous mountains are the Ozark and the Saint Francois Mountains. With an area of 122,000 km², the Ozark is the most extensive mountain region between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains. Thus, the highland region covers about 50 percent of the state of Missouri. The highest point of the mountainous region is 450 meters above sea level and can be found in the southeast of the country. This is the Saint Francois Mountains. They are the oldest volcanic mountain range in Missouri. As a mining region, lead, barite, iron, silver, manganese, nickel and cobalt are mined here. Among the highest mountains there is Taum Sauk Mountain, where the most breathtaking waterfalls in Missouri can be found. This refers to the Mina Sauk Falls. Although the state has such a diverse landscape, there are no national parks in Missouri, only state parks.

Getting to Missouri

To reach the state of Missouri from Europe, you first have to go to cities like
Las Vegas, Chicago or Washington and from there take a connecting flight to Missouri. The largest airports in Missouri include Kansas City International Airport and Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Missouri can be reached by train via the routes of the Southwest Chief, the Texas Eagle and the Missouri River Runner. By car, all parts of the state are easily accessible via the extensive transport network of the interstate highways.

Well-known cities

Scout Statue, Kansas City
The Scout statue in Kansas City, Image: f11photo / shutterstock

The most famous cities in Missouri are Jefferson City, Branson, Columbia, Hermann, Kansas City, Springfield, and St. Louis. In the capital of the state, Jefferson City, many historic buildings and structures can be admired. The city was named in honor of the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Columbia is known worldwide as a student city. Logically, 30,000 students from the University of Missouri live here alone. The small town of Hermann is very popular with German-speaking guests due to its German roots and wine-growing region. There is even an annual May and Oktoberfest here. The Kansas City metropolitan area, which is a twin city of Hanover , is home to around 2 million inhabitants. This makes Kansas not only the most populous city in the state of Missouri, but also one of the two largest metropolitan areas in the region. In Kansas, there are many museums, boulevards and theaters to visit. The same applies to the city of Springfield. The largest city after Kansas is St. Louis, which is also very popular with visitors. Especially the landmark, the Gateway Arch, is visited very often.

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Missouri continues to be known for its activities such as the Missouri State Fair and the Kansas City Irish Fest. The former is a folk festival in the small town of Sedina, which lasts for 11 days. In addition to exhibitions, animal shows and stalls, there are also large concerts taking place again and again. The Irish Fest in Kansas City, on the other hand, is a celebration in memory of the Irish. More than 100,000 guests a year are interested in the culture, music and history of the Emerald Isle.

Attractions in Mussouri

Finally, a small selection of sights that you should not miss during your stay in Missouri:

  • The Mastodon State Historic Site
  • the historic site of Harry S Truman
  • the house of the Truman Farm
  • the home of Mark Twain and a museum dedicated to him
  • Anheuser-Busch Brewery
  • The Missouri State Capitol
  • the Powell Symphony Hall.