Los Angeles, California or L.A. as the people love to call it, is a beautiful city and the most influential metropolis on the American West Coast. This sprawling city has a population of over 4 million people, a figure that makes it the second most populated metropolis in the county after New York City.
The documented history of Los Angeles began with the settlement of the Hokan linguistic groups who ware later pushed away by the Tongva tribesmen. The Tongva are thus considered the native occupants of the area that became today’s Los Angeles City. They originally lived in small villages surrounding the Los Angeles Basin. A Spanish explorer and sailor named Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo was the first person from Europe, who traveled to the LA basin around the year 1542. He described Southern California as a smoky valley because of the dense fumes he encountered from bonfires created by the aggressive Tongva tribesmen.
In the 1770s, Fr. Junipero Serra and his Franciscan missionaries settled throughout California and set up missions and settlements throughout the area which now came to be now as Alta California. Some Spanish settlers from New Spain in Mexico set up a pueblo in 1781 along a river and it was given the name “Town of Our Lady of Angels” from which the name Los Angeles was derived.
New Spain became independent from the mighty Spanish empire in 1822 and California was consequently annexed by Mexico. The Mexicans dominated the region for decades before history decided to surrender the city to the United States in 1850 following their win in the Mexican War. LA was then a small town in the American West, with its saloons, gaming rooms, and dirt roads. With the construction of the Southern Pacific railway in 1872, Los Angeles was connected with various parts of California as well with as the rest of the country.
In the late 1870s, Southern California emerged as a big farming center and thrived as such for almost a century. During the start of the 20th century, filmmakers from Hollywood settled in LA and set up film studios. In 1932, the Olympics were organized and hosted in the city. During the Second World War, this region had a crucial role to play at produced weaponry, airplanes, and war machinery. In the 1960s and the 1970s, the city became more diverse due to immigrants from the Middle East and Asia, making it a popular cultural center in the United States.
Unlike other cities that were destroyed in order to get re-build, Los Angeles retains some of its heritage and its architectural past. During a visit to this beautiful city, you can enjoy and admire the architecture of the oldest buildings and some recent ones as well. Do not miss the most original and futuristic architecture of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which is reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House.