Eureka Springs, Arkansas

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Eureka Springs is a city in Carroll County, Arkansas, United States, one of the two county seats for the county.[1] It is located in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the town is 2,350.[2] The entire town of Eureka Springs is on the National Register of Historic Places as the Eureka Springs Historic District and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Arkansas.

Contents

Description

Eureka Springs is a unique Victorian resort village in Carroll County, Arkansas which has its own culture and lifestyle. The city has steep winding streets filled with Victorian-style cottages and manors. The old commercial section of the city has an alpine character, with an extensive streetscape of well-preserved Victorian buildings. The buildings are primarily constructed of local stone and lie along streets that curve around the hills and rise and fall with the topography in a five-mile long loop. Some buildings have street-level entrances on more than one floor. The local Catholic Church boasts a street-level entrance to its bell tower. Eureka Springs has been selected as one of America's Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Most of the stores and shops in the commercial district are locally owned and managed. They consist primarily of specialty shops featuring local crafts, antiques, the works of local artists, and standard Ozark tourist fare. The downtown area also features various coffee shops and sidewalk cafés. The town has more than 20 art galleries in the downtown area. The city maintains a trolley service providing transportation around town for the tourists who visit the town.

The city hosts the 7-story tall, 2 million pound, white concrete statue of Jesus known as Christ of the Ozarks, erected privately in 1966 as part of a planned religious theme park. The statue sits across the valley from the downtown area and is visible from many points in the immediate area. The city is home to The Great Passion Play. The play is "America's #1 attended Outdoor Drama," according to the Outdoor Institute of Drama at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Celebrating its 40th season in 2008, the play will welcome its 7.5 millionth visitor.

Ripley's Believe It or Not has noted numerous details about the city: The Basin Park Hotel is built on a hill, so that people can enter from ground level at all eight stories. The Palace Bath House has the first neon sign west of the Mississippi River. Penn Memorial Baptist Church connects to three different streets at three different levels and has three addresses. St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church is the only church that is entered through the bell tower. The town's winding, hilly, curved streets form 16 "S's", a large "O", and numerous "U's" and "V's," yet the town has no perpendicular street crossings.

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