Discover the rich history of Dubuque through its breathtaking architectural landmarks. Explore our unique past full of Instagram-worthy moments on your journey to where Iowa started.
The Only Shot Tower Left West of The Mississippi
Stand tall next Dubuque’s Shot Tower. Built in 1856 for the production of military ammunition, it stands as one of only three towers left in the entire United States. This 120-foot tall iconic structure produced lead shot from 1856-1858 and briefly during the Civil War. The Shot Tower was later on used as a fire watchtower for the Standard Lumber Company until the interior of the tower was destroyed by a fire in 1911.
Take a stroll down the Mississippi River Walk in the Port of Dubuque for a photo-opt stop at this must see Dubuque landmark.
The Heart of Downtown Dubuque
Don’t let your time in Dubuque slip away. The Town Clock was originally erected on top a downtown Main Street building in 1873 then moved to the Plaza in 1971. The clock which maintains an accurate time within half a second, weighs 13 tons and stands an impressive 110 feet tall.
Take in a summer concert at this memorable gathering spot in Downtown Dubuque.
Fenelon Place Elevator
The World’s Shortest, Steepest Railway
Take a ride up the Fenelon Place Elevator for the widest view of the city. Originally built for private use, the elevator’s primary function was to transport citizens up the bluff for their lunch hour. This funicular wins the world record for shortest and steepest railway with a length of 269 feet and climbing an elevation of 189 feet at a 41 degree angle.
See the sweeping landscapes of the tri-state region all while climbing up the beautiful bluffs of the Mississippi River Valley.
Julien Dubuque Monument
The Burial Site of Dubuque’s Founder
Look out over the mighty Mississippi River at the Julien Dubuque Monument in Mines of Spain. There lies the French-Canadian fur trader who was the first permanent settler in the Dubuque area, leading to the founding of Iowa’s oldest city in 1843. The Mesquakie Indians buried Julien Dubuque with tribal honors above the banks of Catfish Creek in the now Mines of Spain Recreation Area.
Take a hike and visit our founder, for a look at landmark that is the epitome of where Iowa started.
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