Eureka!

A stopover in Eureka Springs, AR along the way to Branson, MO produced some Eureka! moments and other assorted revelations.

For one, there are seventeen registered churches in Eureka Springs, ministering to two thousand healing hearts and souls around town, plus a Tibetan Buddhist temple and an integrated monastery of celibate brothers and sisters.

Religious overtones are also pervasive throughout town. Our Airstream was parked along Passion Play Rd., above the hallowed hollow where The Great Passion Play’s dramatic reenactment of the last week of Jesus Christ is the #1 tourist attraction in the area, and The Christ of the Ozarks rises nearby, hovering above the dense woods of Magnetic Mountain.

Jesus of the Ozarks

Christ sign

Big Jesus side view

Also looking down from town, the Crescent Hotel–recently added to the National Register of Historic Places–delivers luxurious living and salon services, in what’s billed as America’s Most Haunted Hotel.

Historic Crescent Hotel

Crescent Hotel

A fourth-floor lookout…

P1100279

provides familiar views in the distance,

Jesus over sunset

and an overlook of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church of Hungary–listed in Ripley’s Believe It or Not as the only church in America with entry through the bell tower.

St. Elizabeth Church1 (2)

Stunning religious “art-chitecture” can also be found at the Thorncrown Chapel, a jewel of glass and wood tucked into the hillside atop a ledge of flagstone.

Thorncrown Chapel1 (2)

Inside Eureka Springs’ Victorian historical district, the Byzantine-styled First Baptist Church stands at the corner of three intersecting streets with entrances at each of its four levels, giving it four distinct addresses and cause for another Ripley’s entry.

First Baptist Church

The charm of downtown carries through its narrow winding streets, acute corners, and graded roads of 30% or greater, routinely decorated with accents of fine art…

down the street

Steps to Spring St.

…and frivolity.

Humpty Dumpty gnome

horn orchestra (2)

Eureka Springs came by its name naturally, manifesting no less than sixty-two springs that gushed from the mountainside with so-called healing properties. Its establishment as a resort community during the 1870’s prompted visitors from near and far to “take the waters” by drinking up and soaking in its therapeutic juices.

civil war healing

90% cure rate

Today, over a dozen springs have been restored to former glory.

Magnetic Spring plaque

Magnetic Spring

And while the water is no longer potable, the park habitats have given the springs a new lease on life,

Harding Spring

Basin Spring

and have renewed the town’s reputation as a popular healing destination,

Eureka Healing (2)

with an emphasis on preserved charm.

County Courthouse

top floor (2)

ball and house

facade

facades.png

Palace Hotel gazebo

Perhaps the biggest paradox of Eureka Springs would have to be the town’s united commitment to all things ghosts and Halloween, given its adherence and roots in Christiandom, while billing itself as “the place” for the best Halloween party in America…

Grand Central Hotel

Chile Lily

…breathing spiritual relevance into Euripides’ quote: Money is the wise man’s religion.

7 thoughts on “Eureka!

  1. Oh I hope you had the time to explore the town and shops and restaurants!! It’s such a fun place! I know you’re going to Branson, but if you like to explore caves, there are several in the area that I thought were pretty cool. Cosmic Cavern, Onxy Cave, War Eagle Cavern, Mystic Caverns & Crystal Dome.
    If you like to hike, and your schedule allows, there’s an amazingly beautiful trail about 70 miles south of Branson in Deer Arkansas…Whitaker Point Trail (Hawksbill Crag). Several of my friends are there now. I was supposed to go but my hiking partner is sick.
    I hope you don’t mind the suggestions. You’re so close to some pretty amazing natural wonders!
    Enjoy Branson! It’s traffic jam city 😆

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Kim. Suggestions are always welcome here. We did dine in town: dinner at Local Flavor Cafe and breakfast at Nibbles–both good decisions. And while we always enjoy a good hike, waking up to 28°F this morning made we want to pull the covers over my head. Brrr! But up an’ at ’em!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Beautiful pictures! Eureka looks like it came right out of a storybook. And I am so fascinated by these unique chapels… Thorncrown Chapel reminds me of the Wayfarers Chapel in Los Angeles. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful place! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s