San Francisco

Kategorie: Geografia (celkem: 1046 referátů a seminárek)

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  • Přidal/a: anonymous
  • Datum přidání: 06. února 2007
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San Francisco

San Francisco

San Francisco, city, California, United States. Famous for its beautiful setting, San Francisco is primarily located on the northern tip of a peninsula at the entrance to San Francisco Bay and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west Golden Gate Strait on the north, San Francisco Bay on the east, and San Bruno Mountain on the south. Alcatraz, Angel, Treasure, and Yerba Buena islands are part of the city.
San Francisco is a leading financial and international trade centre for the western United States. The central financial district contains the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange, the headquarters of the 12th Federal Reserve District, and numerous banks and corporate office buildings, including the home office of the Bank of America, one of the largest banks in the world. Tourism is also increasingly important to the city's economy. As a leading manufacturing centre, its many products include textiles, fabricated metal items, electrical equipment, petroleum products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paper products, and printed materials.
The port of San Francisco is one of the largest in the nation and its shipping activity has grown since the early 1980s. San Francisco is served by an international airport. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system links the city with Oakland, Richmond, Concord, and Fremont across San Francisco Bay. The city contains the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (opened 1936), one of the longest combination bridges in the world, and the Golden Gate Bridge (1937), with a central channel span of 1,280 m (4,200 ft).
San Francisco has a land area of 117 sq km (47 sq mi). The central part of the city lies on a series of hills that reach a maximum in altitude of about 285 m (935 ft). The most notable hills are Telegraph, Russian, Nob, Rincon, Lone Mountain, Bernal Heights, Larsen Peak, Twin Peaks, Potrero, Buena Vista, Lincoln Park, Mount Olympus, and Mount Davidson, the highest. The Embarcadero, a crescent-shaped boulevard, borders the edge of the peninsula; from it, Market Street, the principal thoroughfare, runs diagonally to the south-west, bisecting the city. North of Market Street are the main commercial sections of the city, and to the south are the older sections and industrial areas. The wealthier residential neighbourhoods are situated on hills to the north and west of the centre; Nob Hill is one of the most well-known.

The Mission Valley district, south-west of the centre, is primarily a Hispanic community, and much of the Western Addition, west of Van Ness Avenue, is a black area. Other major neighbourhoods are Chinatown and Japan Town.
The downtown section of San Francisco has many attractions. Particularly notable are the Transamerica Pyramid Building (1972); Chinatown, which has one of the largest Chinese communities outside Asia; and Coit Memorial Tower on Telegraph Hill. Also in the centre is Fisherman's Wharf, with the nearby Hyde Street Pier of Historic Ships and the National Maritime Museum, and the Ferry Building, which houses the Geological Museum. The Civic Centre includes City Hall, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Opera House, and the Davies Symphony Hall. San Francisco also has a major hands-on science museum, the Exploratorium. The central district of San Francisco is also noted for its cable cars, which were returned to operation in the mid-1980s after several years of repair. Golden Gate Park, including a large area in the west-central part of the city that is designated to become a national park in 1994, is the site of the M. H. De Young Memorial Museum, noted for its exhibits of Far Eastern art; the California Academy of Sciences museum; and the Japanese Tea Gardens. South of the central area are the Mexican Museum, which contains a folk-art collection; Mission Dolores (founded 1776); the George Moscone Convention Center; and Candlestick Park, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team and the San Francisco 49ers American football team. The main institutions of higher education in San Francisco are San Francisco State University (1889), the University of San Francisco (1855), Golden Gate University (1901), University of California-San Francisco (1864), the University of California Hastings College of Law (1878), the San Francisco Art Institute (1871), and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (1917). San Francisco has many performing-arts organizations. Among the best known are the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, and the American Conservatory Theatre.
The community was settled in 1776, when the Spanish founded a fort (presidio) here to guard the entrance to San Francisco Bay. Later that year the Misión San Francisco de Asís (now called Mission Dolores) was established nearby. In the 1830s a third settlement began at Yerba Buena Cove, in the north-eastern part of the city. The United States took Yerba Buena from Mexico in 1846, renaming it San Francisco in 1847.

In 1848 gold was discovered in the interior of California, near Sacramento, and the ensuing gold rush rapidly transformed San Francisco into a booming community. San Francisco was incorporated as a city in 1850.
The city developed as a port and supply point and became an early governmental and cultural centre. It was noted for its cosmopolitan population and for the lawlessness of some sections, particularly the so-called Barbary Coast area. In 1869 the transcontinental railway reached the Bay Area, and by 1900 San Francisco had more than 340,000 inhabitants. On April 18, 1906, a major earthquake shook the city and caused a fire that raged for three days, destroying almost all of San Francisco's city centre and much of the residential area. Despite this, the city was quickly rebuilt. The city was again badly damaged by an earthquake in 1989, but has since recovered. In 1934 a strike by 12,000 San Francisco longshoremen spread to a dozen Pacific Coast cities and resulted in a three-day general strike that paralysed the city.
During World War II San Francisco was a major shipbuilding centre and in 1945, at the end of the war, the city was the site of an international conference that drafted the United Nations Charter. In the 1960s and 1970s many large modern buildings were constructed in the city, and a number of residential areas were revitalized. In the late 1950s the literary development of the Beat Generation was located in San Francisco's North Beach area and the city has long been famous for its alternative cultures. The city's significant gay population has made it a major centre of gay civil rights activism since the 1970s. Population (1980) 678,974; (1990) 723,959.

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