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Seattle on the Map

GPS N47.606163°,W122.319031°
Seattle is the largest city in the northwest of USA. Its area is 369 square kilometres. It is located in Washington State, between Puget Sound and Lake Washington in King County, just 174 kilometres far from United States and Canadian borders.

The city was founded in 1850s, although it was incorporated just in 1869. It was named after Noah Sealth, chief of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes, better known as Chief Seattle. Its official nickname is the Emerald City because of the lush evergreen trees in the surrounding area. The nickname was selected in 1982. However, other nicknames like Rainy City, the Gateway to Alaska, Queen City, and Jet City are used too.

The city itself is mostly hilly. Some of the hilliest areas are quite near the center and Downtown rises rather dramatically away from the water. Its geography has changed due to the seawall and the construction of an artificial island – Harbor Island at the mouth of the city’s industrial Duwamish Waterway. The Seattle Fault – an active geological fault runs under the city. There have been four major earthquakes since city’s founding so far, the last one in 2001.

Seattle's climate is mild. The temperature is moderated by the sea. Average temperatures range from 0°C at night in winter to mid 20°C in summer. The city is protected from winds and storms by the mountains. Despite being partially in the rain shadow for the Olympic Mountains, it rains quite often there. Snowfall is infrequent, especially at lower altitudes, and is usually light and short-lived.

The population of the city is over 550 000 and a metropolitan population is over 3.8 million. Seattle residents are known as Seattleites. The density is 2.62 inhabitants per square kilometre. Approximately 73% of population is white, which makes Seattle the city with one of the highest percentage of white for a major American city.

Seattle is a charter city, with a Mayor-Council form of government. Seattle's mayor and nine city council members are elected at large, rather than by geographic subdivisions. The only other elected office is the city attorney. All offices are non-partisan.

The most recognizable Seattle’s landmark is the Space Needle. It dates back to 1962. Contrary to popular belief, the Space Needle is neither the tallest structure in Seattle nor is it in Downtown. Other notable Seattle landmarks include the Smith Tower, Pike Place Market, the Fremont Troll, the Experience Music Project (which is at Seattle Center), the new Seattle Central Library, the Washington Mutual Tower, and the Columbia Center, which is the fourth tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi River and the twelfth tallest in the nation.

As far as culture is concerned, among Seattle's best-known annual cultural events and fairs belong the 24-day Seattle International Film Festival, Northwest Folklife over the Memorial Day weekend and Seafair events throughout the summer months.

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