San Francisco, California

By | September 22, 2022


San Francisco (popular abbreviation: Frisco), city in the United States of America, in the state of California, at the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, connected north of the city by a narrow strait, the Golden Gate, with a population of 724,000. in W. (agglom. San Francisco-Oakland: approx. 6 million inhabitants). The city is connected to the other side of the Golden Gate by the 2.8 km long Golden Gate Bridge (largest span: 1280 m) and to the city of Oakland on the other side of the San Francisco Bay by the via the island of Yerba Buena walking San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in total 12.8 km. The city area includes the islands of Alcatraz (former prison), Yerba Buena (naval training base), and the artificial Treasure Island.


The Natural Harbor of San Francisco Bay is the largest and most important port on the west coast of the United States. The industry includes petroleum refining, food and beverages (coffee), textile, chemical and steel industry, shipbuilding, car assembly and printing industry. The city is also an important banking, insurance and publishing center. San Francisco is the seat of a Roman Catholic Archbishop and has numerous educational institutions, including the University of San Francisco (founded 1855) and San Francisco State University (founded 1889).

Among the many museums, mention can be made of the Palace of the Legion of Honor (visual arts), the MH De Young Memorial Museum (arts and crafts), the Museum of the Academy of Science, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (since 1995 in a building by Mario Botta), a wax museum, the Morrison Planetarium and the Steinhart Aquarium. There is also a large public library, several theaters and an opera. Since the early 1970s, San Francisco has had a partially underground urban railway. There is also a funicular (since 1873; gradients up to 20%) in operation.


The city is surrounded by water on three sides (with the 5 km long Embarcadero on the east side and the old harbor district Fisherman’s Wharf on the north waterfront) is built on forty hills, including Telegraph Hill (with the 64 m high Coit Memorial Tower), Russian Hill and Nob Hill (with the 101 m high Fairmont Tower). East of Nob Hill is Chinatown and south is the Civic Center. In the northeast of the city, near the Embarcadero, is the Transamerica Pyramid Building, an office building in the shape of a 260 m high pyramid (1972), and at the other end of Market Street, in the city center, it was built in 1782-1791. Church of the mission from 1776 (Mission Dolores) built by converted Indians. After the completion of the Rapid Transit System in 1974, Market Street was almost completely filled with tower blocks. To the south of this city center large-scale urban renewal projects were carried out in the 1970s and 1980s. This is where the George R. Moscone Convention Center (1981) is located.


In 1776, the first missionary post was founded by the Spaniards from Mexico on the site of present-day San Francisco, which led a miserable existence. It was not until the establishment of a trading post by the American whalers in 1835 that the town began to flourish. In 1846, during the war between the United States and Mexico, United States Marines planted the flag of the United States and a few years later the very rapid expansion started due to the gold rush of 1849, followed by a second influx when the silver mines in Nevada were discovered (1859). The final connection to the east was established by the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. On April 18, 1906, the city was hit by a severe earthquake, which killed more than 500 people and destroyed much of the city.

After the mid-fifties, San Francisco (and New York) was the cradle and ‘Mecca’ of various forms of counterculture (including beat generation and flower power).

San Francisco, California