The city is situated on both banks of the Mississippi River, just north of the river’s confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Saint Paul, the state’s capital.
As of September 2020, the population of Minneapolis is about 430,000 people. It is the 46th most populous city in the United States.
The city covers a total area of 149 square kilometers (57 square miles).
The average altitude is 264 metres (830 feet) above sea level.
Sioux and Ojibwa peoples were early inhabitants of the region.
The Franciscan missionary Louis Hennepin visited the area in 1680 and named St. Anthony Falls, which later provided power for grinding flour for Fort Snelling, a military outpost at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers.
When land became available for settlement, two towns were founded on either side of Minnehaha Falls: Saint Anthony, on the east side, and Minneapolis, on the west side.
The two towns later merged into one city in 1872.
The falls were an important factor in the city’s early economic growth as a lumber and flour-milling centre. By 1870 Minneapolis was the country’s top producer of flour. The lumber business reached its height in the late 19th century, when logs from the forests of the north jammed the river.
This industrial development fueled the development of railroads and banks, as well as the foundation of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.
As the city grew, the culture developed through its churches, arts institutions, the University of Minnesota, and a famous park system designed by Horace Cleveland and Theodore Wirth.
Although the sawmills and the flour mills are long gone, Minneapolis remains a regional center in banking and industry.
The Basilica of Saint Mary is a Roman Catholic minor basilica located on its own city block along Hennepin Avenue between 16th & 17th Streets in downtown Minneapolis. It was the first basilica established in the United States. The Basilica of Saint Mary is the co-cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Protection of the Holy Virgin, is a cathedral of the Orthodox Church in America and the Diocese of the Midwest, located in Minneapolis. It is one of only two Orthodox churches in Northeast Minneapolis, and of 16 local Orthodox churches in the Twin Cities. The cathedral is dedicated to the feast of the Protection of the Virgin Mary, celebrated annually on October 1.
Home to more than 90,000 works of art representing 5,000 years of world history, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) is an arts museum located in Minneapolis. Its permanent collection includes world-famous works that embody the highest levels of artistic achievement, spanning about 20,000 years and representing the world’s diverse cultures across six continents. The museum has seven curatorial areas: Arts of Africa & the Americas – Contemporary Art – Decorative Arts, Textiles & Sculpture – Asian Art – Paintings – Photography and New Media – and Prints and Drawings.
The Walker Art Center is a multidisciplinary contemporary art center in the Lowry Hill neighborhood of Minneapolis. The Walker is one of the most-visited modern and contemporary art museums in the United States and, together with the adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the Cowles Conservatory, it has an annual attendance of around 700,000 visitors. The museum’s permanent collection includes over 13,000 modern and contemporary art pieces including books, costumes, drawings, media works, paintings, photography, prints, and sculpture.
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is an 4.5-hectare (11-acre) park in Minneapolis. It is located near the Walker Art Center. It is one of the largest urban sculpture gardens in the country, with 40 permanent art installations and several other temporary pieces that are moved in and out periodically.
Mill City Museum is a Minnesota Historical Society museum in Minneapolis. It opened in 2003 built in the ruins of the Washburn “A” Mill next to Mill Ruins Park on the banks of the Mississippi River. The museum focuses on the founding and growth of Minneapolis, especially flour milling and the other industries that used hydropower from Saint Anthony Falls. The mill complex, dating from the 1870s, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum is an art museum located at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The museum was founded in 1934 and is named in honor of art collector Frederick R. Weisman. Originally based in Northrop Auditorium, it moved into its current building (designed by Frank Gehry) in 1993. Widely known as a “modern art museum,” the 25,000+ image collection has large collections of Marsden Hartley, Alfred Maurer, Charles Biederman, Native American Mimbres pottery, and traditional Korean furniture.
The Stone Arch Bridge is a former railroad bridge crossing the Mississippi River at Saint Anthony Falls in downtown Minneapolis. It is the only arched bridge made of stone on the entire Mississippi River. It is the second oldest bridge on the river next to Eads Bridge. The bridge was built to connect the railway system to the new Union Depot, which at that time was planned to be built between Hennepin Avenue and Nicollet Avenue. The bridge was completed in 1883, costing $650,000 at the time ($17.8 million today). 117 Portland Avenue is the general address of the historic complex.
Minnehaha Park is a city park and home to Minnehaha Falls and the lower reaches of Minnehaha Creek. Officially named Minnehaha Regional Park, it is part of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board system and lies within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service. The park was designed by landscape architect Horace W.S. Cleveland in 1883 as part of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway system, and was part of the popular steamboat Upper Mississippi River “Fashionable Tour” in the 1800s.
Minneapolis Skyway System is the largest continuous network of skyways in the world. It connects over 69 city blocks and spreads eight miles. Its built to enable people to travel building-to-building in a safe, comfortable, climate-controlled environment even during harsh winters.
Nickelodeon Universe is the name of an indoor amusement park located at Mall of America in Minnesota. It consists of attractions and rides based on Nickelodeon’s popular franchises. It features 7 acres of unique indoor attractions and entertainment such as rides, meet and greets with Nick characters, unique Nickelodeon retail and much more.
Its name was derived from the Sioux word minne, meaning “water,” and the Greek polis, for “city.”
The city is abundantly rich in water, with 13 lakes, wetlands, the Mississippi River, creeks and waterfalls – many connected by parkways in the Chain of Lakes and the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway.
Renowned for its investment in biking infrastructure, the city is frequently ranked as one of the best cities in the United States for biking.
Because, Minneapolis was a world-leading center of flour production, it earned the nickname “Mill City”.