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Roadside Attractions: The Cross at the Crossroads of Effingham, Illinois

Roadside Attractions: Cross at the Crossroads in Effingham, Illinois

The Cross at the Crossroads in Effingham intersects Highway 57 and 70, easily visible to passersby from the Interstate and surrounding area. At 198 feet tall and 113 feet wide, the cross, made of over 180 tons of steel looms over Effingham, easily visible by day and illuminated at night.

Cross at the Crossroads in Effingham, Illinois

My family drove past the cross last year on our road trip to California. I had convinced my family, for my love of roadside attractions, to stop on our way home. They agreed but that was before we stopped along Route 66 at the Cross in Groom, Texas. My kids decided both stops were unnecessary since they are so similar.

When my husband and I recently drove to Branson, we passed by the giant cross once again. And once again, I wanted to stop but we were on a tight schedule.  On the way back to Ohio, with my husband not feeling well and sleeping in the passenger seat of our truck, I finally got my chance and pulled off the Interstate early one Sunday morning and followed the signs to the big cross.

Followed signs to the Big Cross at the Crossroads roadside attraction

Once you exit the Interstate, it only takes a few minutes to arrive in the parking lot of the cross, which is located in an industrial area surrounded by fields.

I arrived early so the Visitor’s Center, which is manned by volunteers, was closed. I’m told that inside, visitors can watch a short film that shows the construction of the cross.

Video in Visitor's Center at the Cross at the Crossroads

Around the base of the cross are ten stations. Visitors may push a small button to hear one of the Ten Commandments and a short message. Benches are provided for visitors to sit quietly and reflect.

10 Commandments at Cross at the Crossroads in Effingham, Illinois

The giant cross was dedicated in the midst of one of the darkest days in American history, offering hope on the evening of September 16, 2001.

Visitor's Center at the Cross at the Crossroads

It doesn’t take long to stop for a visit and provides a great place to get out of the car and stretch your legs. Like I mentioned, the Visitor’s Center wasn’t open when I stopped so I was able to hit the walkway and snap some pictures and get back on the road almost before my husband realized the vehicle had stopped moving.

If you’re watching the movie, you’d need to allow yourself a bit more time, obviously.

Visiting the Cross at the Crossroads in Effingham, Illinois

You’ll find the Cross at the Crossroads on W. Knagge Road in Effingham, Illinois. If you’re pulling off the Interstate, just look for the signs leading the way.

If you have questions, you can call 217-347-2446 or check out their website for more information. You can also follow the Cross at the Crossroads Facebook page for updates and events.

While in the area, you may want to stop for lunch at the Firefly Grille. Read our post 21 Faith-based Attractions in the United States to find more attractions to visit.

More Roadside Attractions:
The World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock
Dolly Parton Statue
A Stop at the Giant Cross in Orlando

Stephen Hendricks

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

Nicely written post, your finally getting to stop at the Cross at Effingham.

Sonja @ The {Happy} Travel Bug

Sunday 20th of July 2014

I've seen this many times as I travel back home to see my family! Protection Status
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