Baltimore is the most populous city in the US state of Maryland.
It is located in north-central Maryland on the Patapsco River close to where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay.
As of January 2020, the population of Baltimore is about 605,000 people. It is the 30th most populous city in the United States.
The city covers a total area of 239 square kilometers (92 square miles).
The city is situated on the fall line between the Piedmont Plateau and the Atlantic coastal plain, which divides Baltimore into “lower city” and “upper city”. The city’s elevation ranges from sea level at the harbor to 150 meters (480 feet) above sea level in the northwest corner near Pimlico.
Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729.
It was created as a port for shipping tobacco and grain, and soon local waterways were being harnessed for flour milling.
At the outbreak of the American Revolution, it was a bustling seaport and shipbuilding centre.
Baltimore clippers plied the seas, and trade extended to the Caribbean.
In 1789 Baltimore became the first Roman Catholic diocese in the United States, and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was the nation’s first Roman Catholic cathedral.
During the War of 1812 the British tried to capture Baltimore; US forces’ successful defense of nearby Fort McHenry was the inspiration for Francis Scott Key’s poem “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which became the text of the national anthem.
The US Navy’s first ship, the Constellation, was launched in Baltimore in 1797, and its namesake, the last all-sail warship built (1854) for the navy, has been moored in the city’s harbour since 1955; in the late 1990s the ship underwent extensive restoration.
Baltimore is now a major seaport with ship-repair facilities and a highly diversified economy.
Fort McHenry is a historical American coastal pentagonal bastion fort located in the Locust Point neighborhood of Baltimore. It is best known for its role in the War of 1812, when it successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy from the Chesapeake Bay on September 13–14, 1814. It was first built in 1798 and was used continuously by the U.S. armed forces through World War I and by the Coast Guard in World War II. It was designated a national park in 1925, and in 1939 was redesignated a “National Monument and Historic Shrine”.
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also called the Baltimore Basilica was constructed between 1806 and 1863 to a design of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, America’s first professionally trained architect and Thomas Jefferson’s Architect of the US Capitol. The Basilica of the Assumption was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 1, 1969, and was made a National Historic Landmark on November 1971.
The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) is an art museum in Baltimore that was founded in 1914. The BMA’s internationally renowned collection of 95,000 objects encompasses more than 1,000 works by Henri Matisse anchored by the Cone Collection of modern art, as well as one of the nation’s finest holdings of prints, drawings, and photographs.
The Walters Art Museum, located in Mount Vernon-Belvedere, Baltimore, is a public art museum founded and opened in 1934. It holds collections established during the mid-19th century. The Museum’s collection was amassed substantially by major American art and sculpture collectors, a father and son: William Thompson Walters, who began serious collecting when he moved to Paris as a nominal Southern/Confederate sympathizer at the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861; and Henry Walters, who refined the collection and made arrangements for the construction of a later landmark building to rehouse it.
The Inner Harbor is a historic seaport, tourist attraction, and landmark of the city of Baltimore. It was described by the Urban Land Institute in 2009 as “the model for post-industrial waterfront redevelopment around the world”. The Inner Harbor is located at the mouth of Jones Falls, creating the wide and short northwest branch of the Patapsco River.
The National Aquarium is a non-profit public aquarium located at 501 East Pratt Street on Pier 3 in the Inner Harbor. Constructed during a period of urban renewal in Baltimore, the aquarium opened on August 8, 1981. The aquarium has an annual attendance of 1.5 million visitors and is the largest tourism attraction in the State of Maryland. The aquarium holds more than 2,200,000 US gallons (8,300,000 l) of water, and has more than 17,000 specimens representing over 750 species. The National Aquarium’s mission is to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, often referred to as just Oriole Park or Camden Yards, is a Major League Baseball (MLB) ballpark located in Baltimore. Home to the Baltimore Orioles, it is the first of the “retro” major league ballparks constructed during the 1990s and early 2000s. It was completed in 1992 to replace Memorial Stadium.
The B&O Railroad Museum is a museum exhibiting historic railroad equipment in Baltimore, originally named the Baltimore & Ohio Transportation Museum when it opened on July 4, 1953. It has been called one of the most significant collections of railroad treasures in the world and has the largest collection of 19th-century locomotives in the U.S.
The Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum is the former home of American writer Edgar Allan Poe in the 1830s. The small unassuming structure, which was opened as a writer’s house museum in 1949, is a typical row home. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1972.
The city is named after Cecil Calvert, second Lord Baltimore of the Irish House of Lords and founding proprietor of the Province of Maryland. Baltimore Manor was the name of the estate in County Longford on which the Calvert family lived in Ireland. Baltimore is an anglicization of the Irish name Baile an Tí Mhóir, meaning “town of the big house.”
With hundreds of identified districts, Baltimore has been dubbed a “city of neighborhoods.”
Baltimore has more public statues and monuments per capita than any other city in the country.
In 1851, Jacob Fussell in Baltimore established the first large-scale commercial ice cream plant.
The Wire was set and filmed in Baltimore.