San Francisco is the the 13th most populous city in the United States and the cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California. It is the 4th most populous in California and covering an area of about 47 square miles, making it the second most densely populated large city in the U.S.
San Francisco was founded in 1776, when the Spanish established the Presidio of San Francisco. The city was named after St. Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought impressive growth to the city, establishing San Francisco as the largest city on the West Coast between 1870 and 1900. At that time a quarter of California’s population lived in the city. After most of San Francisco was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, the city was quickly rebuilt.
A popular tourist destination for many years, San Francisco is known for its foggy and cool summer weather, hilly streets and neighborhoods, and an interesting mix of architectural styles. City landmarks include the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, cable cars, a large Chinatown district and Alcatraz. Several major banks are headquartered in San Francisco, as well as various other major corporations, including Levi Strauss, Gap Stores, Salesforce.com, and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.