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The entire city is very multicultural, being home to people from more than 140 countries that speak 224 languages.
The city of angels – Los Angeles – is known to almost everyone in the world. It’s the place where movies are made; the place of authentic American lifestyle; and the place of the “Hollywood” sign. Here you’ll find lots of palm trees and swimming pools, and get a glimpse of the American Dream, which can be felt at almost every step here.
Los Angeles is the capital of the sunny California, and the second-largest American city after New York. Together with suburbs, the most famous of which are Beverly Hills, Pasadena and Long Beach, it’s also one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas, home to over 18 million people.
The city is known for more than its coastline and entertainment, however. Both the local culture and economy are extremely diverse, reflective of California state’s considerable economic power, enriched by the city’s 100+ ethnic communities.
Los Angeles is California’s economic, cultural and business centre with lots of universities, higher schools, research institutes, theatres and museums. The city is a world-class centre of aircraft, space, and film and television industries. Like most American cities, Los Angeles is characterised by clogged streets and highways, overcrowded schools and big ethnic neighbourhoods like the Chinatown, Little Russia, etc. The entire city is very multicultural, being home to people from more than 140 countries that speak 224 languages.
The first to inhabit the city’s fringe territories were the tribes of Tongva and Chumash. The first Europeans arrived to what is now Los Angeles in 1542, led by the Portuguese traveller Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who proclaimed the territory to be Spanish Empire’s city of God, although no settlement was established at the time. Los Angeles was officially founded in 1781.
The city centre, as well as its suburbs, are situated in a hilly coastal region, 32 m above sea level on average. Its Western and Southern parts border the Island of Santa Monica in the Pacific Ocean. From the East and North, the city is surrounded by mountain ranges. The Northern part of Los Angeles is also home to the San Fernando Valley, inhabited by about a third of the city’s population, mostly in private single-family houses. These are the traditional American neighbourhoods of private houses that we often see in Hollywood films.
Los Angeles, which stretches for 71 km North to South and 47 km East to West, is divided into separate geographical neighbourhoods, connected by a complex network of highways. The city is negatively affected by industrial pollution and the highest concentration of private cars in the world, and often suffers from smog and has a highly polluted airport.
The main city objects can be found at its very centre: the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Opera, art museums, the private University of Southern California, the Staples Centre and the Dodger Stadium. However, there’s plenty to do in the suburbs, as well. The inhabited beachfront city Santa Monica, the Venice and Malibu resorts, and the many creative centres, such as Silver Lake and Hollywood attract many visitors. Hollywood should be visited by everyone who wishes to dive into the film and entertainment industry and see how films are made.
You should also visit the colourful Mexican market in Olvera Street, built in 1930. Here you can find anything that’s related to Mexico – sombreros, Mexican dresses, colourful wrestling masks, ponchos, etc.
West of the city centre, in Wilshire Street you can find the famous Museum Row that’s home to the city’s largest museums.
The valley is separated from Hollywood and the city centre by the Griffith Park and the Santa Monica Mountains. You can see the whole city from the Griffith Park. It’s the largest park in Los Angeles and the second-largest in all of California. The famous Hollywood sign can be clearly seen from the Griffith Park observatory. This world-famous symbol of entertainment is located on the Southern side of Mount Lee.
Hancock Park is another place in the city that’s certainly worth a visit. It’s a famous fossil dig site called La Brea Tar Pits. The park also has a restored ancient garden. Hancock Park and the neighbourhood around it have been established in 1920, financed by the Hancock oil family that had a house – the La Brea ranch – in what today is the dig site.
Those who wish to spend more time in the outdoors are advised to travel to the mountains near San Bernadino, home to the famous Big Bear Lake, or the deserts near Palm Springs. It will take you only three hours to reach Las Vegas (to the East in Nevada), Santa Barbara (to the North) or San Diego (to the South), which has one of the world’s biggest and best zoos.