A Profound Sense of Connection
Eureka Springs, Arkansas is many things to many people but it is also a unique destination that has long been associated with spiritual, supernatural, holistic, and metaphysical energy.
Our city is home to several places where visitors can experience a profound sense of connection to something other-worldly and also seize the moment to tap into one's innermost self.
While I won't cover ALL the places in this blog-post, let's take a moment to explore three of my personal, favorite places to feel a tug of energy in Eureka Springs.
1. The Crescent Hotel
The Crescent Hotel is one of the most iconic buildings in Eureka Springs and is known for its historical significance and paranormal activity. The hotel was built in 1886 and has undergone several renovations over the years. It has been a hospital, a college, and a conservatory of music, but it is most famous for its reputation of being one of the most haunted places in the world.
To date, the hotel has been featured on several television shows, including "Ghost Hunters" and "Ghost Adventures," and markets itself as the most haunted hotel in America. Guests and staff have reported seeing apparitions, hearing strange noises, and feeling a sense of unease in certain parts of the hotel.
Despite this reputation, the Crescent Hotel is also a place of spiritual energy. The hotel hosts several holistic and spiritual events throughout the year, including yoga classes, meditation sessions, and workshops on spirituality and personal growth. The hotel's historic architecture and picturesque surroundings make it an ideal place to connect with the divine and to take a moment for some introspection.
2. Thorncrown Chapel
Thorncrown Chapel is a stunning architectural masterpiece designed by E. Fay Jones and is considered one of the most significant works of American architecture in the 20th century. The chapel is located in a wooded area just outside of Eureka Springs and is surrounded by a natural landscape that is both beautiful and serene.
The chapel was built in the 1980s and was designed to create a peaceful and meditative atmosphere. The space is flooded with natural light, and the glass walls offer stunning views of the surrounding forest. The chapel has become a popular destination for weddings, meditation sessions, and other spiritual events.
The experience of visiting Thorncrown Chapel changes year over year, as the natural landscape and surrounding environment evolve with the changing seasons. In the spring and summer, the chapel is surrounded by lush greenery and colorful flowers, while in the fall, the trees transform into a stunning array of oranges, yellows, and reds.
My personal favorite thing to do is to visit in winter. This is when the chapel is usually surrounded by snow and becomes a peaceful, somewhat ethereal winter wonderland.
“Let the outside in” was a principle of Jones’ chief mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright, and the most important element of Jones’ design at Thorncrown. Thus, Thorncrown never looks quite the same. Its appearance changes during each hour of the day and during the different seasons of the year. Jones stated he “saw the potential for light play on the structure.” So he enlarged the roof-ridge skylight to increase “the sense of drama.”
At night, the 12 wall lanterns, each attached to a column and illuminating a cross, form infinite reflections in the glass to give the perception of infinite crosses throughout the forest. The chapel’s skylights also reflect the pine beams at night through the glass to form crosses that appear to surround the entire building.
In December 2020, this spiritual space conducted its first-ever virtual service (in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.) This service featured the talents of Jerry King, Ann & Doug Reed, Chad Gurley, Tim Hillwood, Melodye Purdy and yours truly, John-Michael Scurio. I was humbled to be able to enjoy this ethereal experience at Thorncrown Chapel.
Here is the link to this beautiful service - A Light On A Hill - A Service For Christmas, 2020
3. Quigley's Castle - The Ozark's Strangest Dwelling
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2003, Quigley's Castle is a unique and quirky attraction located in Eureka Springs. The castle was built by Elise Quigley, a self-taught artist and gardener, and her husband, Albert. The couple created the castle over the course of several decades, using recycled materials and unusual items like glass bottles, broken ceramics and a rock collection.
The castle is a testament to Elise's creative spirit and her love of nature. The castle's gardens are filled with unique sculptures and whimsical decorations, and visitors can explore the grounds and take in the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Quigley's Castle is a place where visitors can feel a sense of spiritual energy and connection to the earth. The castle's gardens and sculptures are a reflection of Elise's deep love of nature, and visitors can tap into that energy and find peace and inspiration in the natural surroundings.
Here are other places in Eureka Springs, Arkansas where you can feel a tug of spiritual, supernatural, holistic, or metaphysical energy:
Cosmic Cavern - An underground cave system with unique rock formations and rare minerals and crystals.
Blue Spring Heritage Center - A nature reserve with a focus on conservation and preservation, known for its stunning blue spring.
Basin Park - A historic park with natural springs and a rich history of healing and rejuvenation.
Christ of the Ozarks - A 67-foot-tall statue of Jesus Christ that overlooks Eureka Springs and is said to emanate a powerful spiritual energy.
Eureka is unique on so many levels and these are just a few of the many places in where locals and visitors can feel a profound connection. Each location offers a unique experience, and the energy and atmosphere may change year over year depending on the natural surroundings and the events and activities happening in the area.
Founded and named on July 4, 1879, The City of Eureka Springs, Arkansas has welcomed visitors for decades. Although our little mountain town is known today for our incredible architecture, arts/events, history, antiques & shopping, as well as the great outdoors, the original draw was simply - natural spring water.
As the story is often told . . . early Native American tribes believed that the cold mountain spring water that flows through these hills could cure ailments of all kinds, and for this reason all that surrounded was deemed sacred. It was not long after the discovery of the healing water when health-seekers deemed these hills to be full of miracle cures and flocked to the area by the thousands during Victorian times, thus creating this stylish mountain retreat that you may still come to experience, even today.
Here, we remain perfectly perched in these beautiful Ozarks surrounded by the grand, green curves of Mother Nature and we truly believe that this place is sacred. One visit is all it will take for you to feel that hard-to-explain, magical tug on your soul and forever connecting you to this corner of the world.
Nowadays, it remains to be said that the rejuvenating spring waters that continue to flow below the downtown Historic District and the surrounding Historic Loop continue to emit these mystical, magical energies that tug at your soul, ground you and connect you. This is Eureka! You found it! ❤️