Updated: Oct 2, 2022
Cahokia Mounds are a national historic landmark and a World Heritage Site. Just a 30-minutes drive from St. Louis lies the largest prehistorical Indian site north to Mexico. The place was settled for approximately 600 years, between 700 A.D and 1300 A.D., first by Late Woodland Indians, later established the more advanced Mississippian culture. They built here 120 mounds for ceremonial purposes and the elite residence. The most massive mound, called the Monks Mound, was the base of the Chief residence. For unknown reasons, the site, once a significant center for the Mississippian culture, was abandoned in the 1300s.
There is a very nice visitor's center, explaining all about the culture, the daily life of Cahokia citizens, the mounds, and more. In addition, a short film is screened every half hour.
After visiting the visitor's center, it's highly recommended to climb the Monks Mound and look at the other mounds around.
From the top of the Monks Mound, it is also possible to see the Woodhenge - a prehistoric solar calendar consist of large logs.
If you want to spend more time here, you can take a trail map and explore the site deeper.
It is a unique place to visit.
Admission is free.