Saint Anthony Falls, or the Falls of Saint Anthony, northeast of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the only natural major waterfall on the Upper Mississippi River. The natural falls were replaced by a concrete overflow spillway after it partially collapsed in 1869. Later, in the 1950s and 1960s, a series of locks and dams was constructed to extend navigation to points upstream.The falls are named after the Catholic saint Anthony of Padua. The towns of St. Anthony and Minneapolis, which had developed on the east and west sides of the falls, respectively, merged in 1872 to fully use the power of the falls for milling operations. From 1880 to about 1930, Minneapolis was the "Flour Milling Capital of the World".
Today, the falls are defined by the locks and dams of the Upper Saint Anthony Falls, just downstream of the 3rd Avenue Bridge, and the Lower Saint Anthony Falls, just upstream of the I-35W Saint Anthony Falls Bridge.