San Francisco is a major city in California, the centerpiece of the Bay Area, well-known for its liberal community, hilly terrain, Victorian architecture, scenic beauty, summer fog, and great ethnic and cultural diversity. These are only a few of the aspects of the city that make San Francisco one of the most visited cities in the world.
San Francisco is located on a small seven-by-seven mile (11x11km) square of land at the tip of a peninsula between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific coast. It has a population of 815,000, but is the center of a metropolitan area of 7.1 million. San Francisco is just one of the cities which makes up the entire San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco’s neighbors – municipalities to the east of the Bay Bridge, north of the Golden Gate Bridge, and south of the city are all part of separate counties, each with their own governments and local public transportation systems.
San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, all named for St. Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was quickly rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. It then became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945