Bald Knob Cross

Alto Pass, Illinois, home of the famous Bald Knob Cross,  is located between Interstate 24, 55, & 57 in Southern Illinois.  The Bald Knob Cross is the most prominent elevation in Southern Illinois.  Surrounded by the rugged scenic beauty of the Shawnee National Forest, Bald Knob rises more than 700 feet above the valley below.

From the Bald Knob Cross Informational brochure:

“The base of the Cross is 1,034 feet above sea level.  The Cross stands 111 feet tall, is 22 feet square at the base, 16 feet square at the top, and its arms extend horizontally 63 feet.

A foundation fo 730 tons of reinforced concrete goes down 20 feet to bed rock.  Steel framework weighs 170 tons, and the additional supports and covering are estimated to weigh another 30 tons.  The Cross is engineered to withstand winds up to 150 miles per hour.  The covering is made of Illinois Marble at base and heavy reinforced porcelain steel panels above.”

Visit “Friends of the Cross” for more information.

The Cross is showing signs of age, wear, and the ravenges of time and weather.  It does, however, continue to serve as visible symbol of “Faith, Hope, and Charity” (words at the foot of the Cross).

“That it will help to strengthen the spiritual fiber of our people which, in the final analysis, has been, and must continue to be, the basis for our nation’s leadership for freedom and peace amoung the peoples of the world.”

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9 Responses to Bald Knob Cross

  1. JRP says:

    WOW I love this. What a great thing to travel and photograph from afar and then be able to get up close and take photos. I love learning about new places and sights that exist all around the world.

    I’m all about finding little treasures like this all around NJ and surrounding states that I can go and document.

    Thanks for sharing this and the history!!

  2. suehenryphotography says:

    I’m going to add that my personal challenge for capturing the “Cross” images was to practice using my wide angle lens — you know, the lens that hasn’t had much practice yet! Yup! I pulled out the tripod and the wide angle for these!

  3. These are great. What a gorgeous cross, even if it’s weathered now. I like this series. You seem to really be exploring the places around you lately Sue. Yay for you!

  4. Toni says:

    Great shot of the cross, Sue. Love the angle and you caught the light at the perfect time.

  5. Mary says:

    The first photo of this series grabs my eye, excellent colors and composition!

  6. Lisa says:

    A beautiful series of images.

  7. oscarstavern says:

    That is real neat!

    Funny how it almost glows….Hmmmm
    Maybe some help from above!

  8. david martin says:

    I am so glad you went here to use the wide angle and the tripod! One summer on Easter I took my 10 inch Meade telescope there and set it up by the cross and showed people different planets through the night. At dawn the morning star was Venus and I kept tracking it even well into sunrise, when I see a Julie Murphy walking across the grass, well she and Francis lived in Ashville then so to see her and share my experience with Easter with her and her two sons was special. The place is special in many ways, it is a shame about the inner strife with the foundation is totally ruining the site, it has so much history!

  9. Puna says:

    Thank you for the beautiful pics! I personally love wide angle.

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