Ilya Genkin Fine Art Landscape Photography, Travel Photography

Photography, Australian Landscape Photography, Panoramic Photos,
Fine Art Photography, Travel Photography, Landscapes, Stock Images

San Francisco

California, USA


San Francisco in California, USA is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.5 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland. It is the most densely settled large city (population greater than 200,000) in the state of California and the second-most densely populated large city in the United States after New York City.

In 1776, colonists from Spain established a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission named for Francis of Assisi on the site. The California Gold Rush of 1849 propelled the city into a period of rapid growth, increasing the population in one year from 1,000 to 25,000, and thus transforming it into the largest city on the West Coast at the time. 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. During World War II, San Francisco was the port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, massive immigration, liberalizing attitudes, and other factors (Vietnam) led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States.

Today, San Francisco is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, ranking 35th out of the 100 most visited cities worldwide, and is renowned for its chilly summer fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and its famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, and Chinatown. The city is also a principal banking and finance center, and the home to more than 30 international financial institutions, helping to make San Francisco rank 18th in the world's top producing cities, eighth in the United States, and twelfth place in the top twenty global financial centers.

The 'Painted ladies' is a term used for Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. The term was first used for San Francisco Victorian houses by writers Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larsen in their 1978 book Painted Ladies - San Francisco's Resplendent Victorians. Since then the term has also been used to describe groups of colorful Victorian houses in other American cities, such as the Charles Village neighborhood in Baltimore, Lafayette Square in St. Louis, Missouri, the greater San Francisco and New Orleans areas, Columbia-Tusculum in Cincinnati and the city of Cape May, New Jersey. One of the best-known groups of 'Painted ladies' is the row of Victorian houses at 710720 Steiner Street, across from Alamo Square park, in San Francisco. It is sometimes known as 'Postcard Row'. The houses were built between 1892 and 1896 by developer Matthew Kavanaugh, who lived next door in the 1892 mansion at 722 Steiner Street. This block appears very frequently in media and mass-market photographs of the city and its tourist attractions and have appeared in an estimated 70 movies, TV programs, and ads, including in the opening credits of the television series Full House.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, the structure links the city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to Marin County. It is one of the most internationally recognized symbols of San Francisco, California, and of the United States. It has been declared one of the modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge 'possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world'.

The San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge (known locally as the Bay Bridge) is a pair of bridges spanning San Francisco Bay of California, in the United States. As part of Interstate 80 and the direct road route between San Francisco and Oakland, it carries approximately 270,000 vehicles per day on its two decks. It has one of the longest spans in the world. The bridge consists of two main spans of roughly equal length, a western span connecting downtown San Francisco to Yerba Buena Island and an eastern span connecting the island to Oakland. The main part of the western span is a suspension bridge while the main part of the eastern span is a cantilever bridge. During the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, a section of the eastern span's upper deck collapsed onto the lower deck and the bridge was closed for a month.

The Twin Peaks are two hills with an elevation of about 922 feet (281 m) near the geographic center of San Francisco, California. Except for Mount Davidson, they are the highest points in the city. The peaks each have their own names: Eureka Peak/North Peak and Noe Peak/South Peak. 100 ft (30 m) below the Eureka/North Peak is the popular vista point known locally as 'Christmas Tree Point', which offers unobstructed views of most San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay.