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St. Louis is city in the U.S. state of Missouri. The city was founded in 1764 just south of the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers by colonial French traders Pierre Laclède and René Auguste Chouteau, who named the settlement after King Louis IX of France. The vestiges of French and Spanish colonization make St. Louis one of the largest centers of Roman Catholicism in the United States. Lambert St. Louis Airport is situated around 13 miles / 21 km to the northwest of the city center.