America's Largest Cross – Effingham, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

America's Largest Cross

Effingham, Illinois

Known as the "Cross At The Crossroads," this massive metal cross is just short enough to avoid the FAA. 


Towering above the intersection of Interstates 57 and 70 in southern Illinois, the Cross At The Crossroads, a cross nearly 200 feet tall and made with 180 tons of steel is seen by over 50,000 travelers as they drive by every day, but was built just two feet short of an FAA regulation that would have required it to have a beacon visible by airplanes.

The cross is deliberately kept at under 200 feet to avoid an FAA regulation that would require a light at the top, yet still be bigger than a 190-foot high cross in Groom, Texas. Having won the religious size contest, at the base is a welcome center and a lighting display, with a plaque for each of the Ten Commandments, each with a speaker that may or may not offer quotes and thoughts (the mice keeping eating the wires, according to the staff). A kiosk also accepts donations to keep the lights running.  There is a visitor center that offers trinkets for sale.

Unique automotive blessing events are also held at the site of the cross, such as Corvettes at the Cross and a Blessing of the Bikes, where vehicles are blessed so they can take to the road under God’s protection.

Know Before You Go

From Exit 159 on Interstates 57 and 70, turn east on Lafayette Street, then south on S Raney Street, then West on Lake Knagge Road. The Cross is easily visible from S Raney Street.39107578-88.571175

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