San Francisco is a city in the US state of California and the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco is the fourth largest city in California after Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose. It is also the only city in California that coincides with a county: officially it is called the City and County of San Francisco.
The city, with a population of 881,549, is located on the San Francisco Peninsula that separates the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco Bay. The metropolitan area of which San Francisco is the center consists of the cities of San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley. With over 7 million inhabitants, it is the fifth largest conurbation in the United States. Only New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington D.C.-Baltimore are larger conurbations.
San Francisco is one of the most popular tourist cities in the world. Characteristic of San Francisco are its steep hills, the fresh summers and the fog. The most famous symbols of the city are the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Chinatown, the Transamerica Pyramid and the funiculars. The gay district of Castro also enjoys international fame.
Around 3000 BC, the San Francisco Bay Area was inhabited by an Indian tribe, later called the Ohlone. On November 16, 1542, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailed along the coast near San Francisco and discovered the Farallons. In 1575, Sebastião Rodrigues Soromenho ran aground in Drakes Bay and claimed the land for Spain. He called it Puerto de San Francisco (Port of Saint Francis). Later, in 1579, Sir Francis Drake also stranded in the bay. He claimed the land for England and named it Nova Albion.
Pioneers, including José Francisco Ortega, of a Spanish expedition led by Gaspar de Portolá discovered the Golden Gate on November 2, 1769. Seven years later, on March 28, 1776, another Spanish expedition, led by Juan Bautista de Anza, founded the Presidio and then, in June of the same year, the mission of San Francisco de Asís.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the village of Yerba Buena ('Good Grass') arose about three kilometers from the presidio. When the Mexican-American War began in 1846, the United States took part of Alta California, including Yerba Buena which was renamed San Francisco. The city exploded during the California gold rush that began in 1848.
In 1906 San Francisco was hit by a massive earthquake. Several thousand people were believed to have died and many buildings were destroyed. The city was then rebuilt quickly and on a large scale.
In the second half of the twentieth century, San Francisco developed into a city of alternative cultures. In the 1960s, the city was seen as the hippie capital of the world; the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in particular was central to the hippie movement and was therefore locally jokingly referred to as Hashbury. Councilor Harvey Milk was one of the first openly gay city officials in the 1970s. Even today, San Francisco is considered a gay paradise in the United States because it is a relatively gay-tolerant city.
San Francisco is located on the San Francisco Peninsula on the west coast of the United States. The city is located in the state of California, where it is the fourth largest city by population. Within a radius of 50 km around San Francisco lies the San Francisco Bay Area, an agglomeration of 7 million inhabitants. The major cities of the San Francisco metropolitan area are: Berkeley, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Jose and the Silicon Valley.
The Bay Area also has a number of nature reserves, such as Muir Woods National Monument and Point Reyes National Seashore.
San Francisco has a Mediterranean climate. In January the average temperature is 10.6 °C, in July it is 15.1 °C. Annual average precipitation is 500.6 mm (data based on the measurement period 1961–1990). San Francisco