The main components of the image of a city are geographical, cultural, ethnic and historical. They create the internal microclimate of the city, its internal communications. A city image means the historically formed image of the city as a subject of social relations in the region or country, due to national, social and cultural factors, which is manifested in communicative attributes. San Francisco has a very strong attractive tourist image with interesting historical facts connected with the territory, beautiful landscapes, the beauty of architectural structures, the spirit of freedom in culture and relationship.
The cosmopolitan and colourful San Francisco is one of the most famous cities in the United States. And not only there. The inhabitants of the Californian city-country are around 808,976 (2008 estimation). The city is the cultural, transportation, and financial centre of the San Francisco Bay Area with population of 7.4 million individuals. San Francisco is positioned at the tip of the Peninsula and includes important stretches of San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean within its borders.
Nowadays, San Francisco is one of the most visited tourist destination worldwide, well-known with its cool summer mist, sheer rolling hills, incredible mix of modern and Victorian architecture and its legendary landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the Alcatraz Island, the Ocean Beach, the cable cars, Chinatown etc. The city is also a main financial and banking centre, and the home of more than 30 intercontinental financial institutions. All of this makes San Francisco one of the most visited places all over the world.
San Francisco includes numerous islands, like Alcatraz, Yerba Buena Island, Treasure Island, Red Rock Island, a small portion of Alameda Island, Farallon Islands, and the Angel Island. The total area of the city including the water is just about 600 square kilometres. San Francisco is also known for its hills. There are over 50 hills in the limits of the city. Some of the neighbourhoods are named after the hill on which they are placed, such as Pacific Heights, Russian Hill, the Alamo Square (named after the Alamo Hill), and Nob Hill. The pair of hills laying at one of the highest points of the city is called Twin Peaks and it forms an admired spot for overlook. The tallest hill (282 m high) in San Francisco is Mount Davidson. Dominating in this area is also the Sutro Tower – big white and red television and radio transmission tower.
The close by Hayward Faults and San Andreas are accountable for a lot of earthquake activity, but none of them passes physically all the way through the city. The Fault of San Andreas slipped and was responsible for the earthquakes in 1906 and 1989. Negligible earthquakes happen from time to time. The risk of major earthquakes have affect on infrastructure of the city’s development.
The San Francisco Top Attractions are the Golden Gate Bridge, “The Rock” or Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Park, the Exploratorium, the Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ocean Beach of San Francisco, the Cable Cars of San Francisco, Chinatown, the Italian neighbourhood, Alamo Square, and the Red-and-White Ferry. Of course, there are many other places of interest as well.
The Golden Gate Bridge is 1.7 mile long. It is one of the top 10 America’s wonders. If you intend to visit the city, you shouldn’t miss it for the world. The construction of the bridge lasted 4 years, from 1933 to 1937. Because of the frequent fogs it is equipped with sound and light signaling devices for the safe piloting of vessels and aircraft.
Some believe that the name of the bridge is directly related to its color and, indeed, the red-orange color of the bridge during sunset shines like gold. You can cross the bridge by walking, driving or cycling across. The bridge is the opening of San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. In 1937 when it was build the Golden Gate Bridge was the longest bridge in the world and has become a worldwide acknowledged symbol of California and San Francisco. Since it was completed the bridge’s length has been surpassed by 8 other bridges. It is still the 2nd longest bridge in the United States, after the New York City incredible Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. In 1999 the American Institute of Architects ranked the Golden Gate Bridge as the 5th on the America’s Favourite list of Architecture.