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1/50.- Welcome to San Francisco, California

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Welcome to San Francisco, California - the city by the Bay or simply "the city": one of the world's youngest most visited seaports in modern times. Without boasting a history that goes back 2,500 years as Barcelona or Marseille, San Francisco attracts over 16 million visitors annually; that is much more than Barcelona and Marseille combined (Barcelona receives 6 million tourists per year, while Marseille, 3.1 million ).

Although San Francisco can trace its beginnings to the 16th century - Francis Drake and the Spanish missioners - it was not until the Gold Rush of 1849, that the city became a travel destination on the map of North America, in the most dramatic way. In 1849 alone, more than 80,000 people have made their way to California from every corner of the world, nearly tripling the territory's population. Yet, it was not the gold which changed San Francisco's fame from a Barbary Coast harbor into a prosperous, cosmopolitan, elegant metropolis, but the human potential, cultural diversity, enthusiasm, and endeavor of all those who made San Francisco their home.

For a better understanding of San Francisco's uniqueness among North American cities, let's take a Photographic Tour of a few points of interest which can define it: Fisherman's Wharf - the place for fun; the Union Square - the shopping center; the Civic Center- San Francisco's seat of power; the Financial District - the business center; North Beach and Chinatown - San Francisco's cross-cultural experience; and last but not least, Pacific Heights - San Francisco's architectural experience.

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