STS090-755-060 St. Louis, Missouri April 1998 The metropolitan area of St. Louis can be seen in this near-vertical-looking view. Bounded to the north by the Missouri River and to the east and southeast by the Mississippi River, St. Louis is the largest city in the state of Missouri. It is a great river-freight handler and a major rail center. St. Louis is the major wholesale, commercial, industrial, financial, medical and cultural center for the eastern Missouri, southwest Illinois region. The metropolitan area of St. Louis is expanding to the west and southwest, and across the Missouri River to the west-northwest. The floodplain area shows almost full recovery from the devastating floods of the spring and summer of 1993. The famous Gateway Arch on the west bank of the Mississippi River symbolizes St. Louis as the 'gateway to the west'.