Los Angeles

Los Angeles is the largest city in the US state of California. It is located on the Pacific Ocean and the Los Angeles River. With 3,898,747 inhabitants (2020), Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States after New York City and before Chicago. With 11.8 million residents in the metropolitan area, over 12.8 million residents in the metropolitan statistical area and nearly 17.8 million in the greater metropolitan area, the Greater Los Angeles Area is the 18th largest metropolitan area in the world . Los Angeles residents are called Angelenos.

Los Angeles is the capital and administrative center of Los Angeles County. The city is the economic, business and cultural center of California with numerous universities such as USC and UCLA, colleges, research institutes, theaters and museums. Los Angeles is the world's largest location for the aircraft and aerospace industry and is known for its film and television industry (Hollywood) and music scene.

In 2017, the Los Angeles metropolitan area generated economic output of around 1.04 trillion US dollars. It ranks third among the world's cities, behind Tokyo and New York City.


History: Around 1500 the settlement of today's greater Los Angeles area by around 300 to 500 Tongvá Indians is described. In 1542, Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo sailed into San Pedro Bay and claimed the area for the Spanish crown. In 1781, Governor Felipe de Neve recruited 44 settlers to establish a pueblo in the area. It wasn't until 1835 that Los Angeles became a city and capital of Mexico's northernmost region, Alta California. A first upswing caused the population to grow to 2,228 inhabitants. After military conflicts between the USA and Mexico, Los Angeles became part of the newly founded US state of California in 1850. The population was now increasing rapidly, reaching about 1.23 million for the metropolitan area in 1930. Today, the urban area of Los Angeles has around 3.95 million inhabitants, but the metropolitan area is one of the largest metropolitan regions in the world with around 17.5 million inhabitants.

Climate: The climate in the Los Angeles area is hot and dry, between April and October there is usually no rain at all, which leads to an extremely high risk of forest fires in autumn. Widespread wildfires are common at this time of year and it's a good idea to follow the local news, especially if you're heading into the outskirts.



West Los Angeles – West Los Angeles includes several well-known neighborhoods such as Bel Air and Brentwood. The campus of the renowned University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA for short) is located in the Westwood district.
Hollywood - Center of the US entertainment industry
Venice - the seaside resort offers miles of beaches, an inexhaustible nightlife, but also Muscle Beach, a training ground for bodybuilders.
Downtown - Downtown Los Angeles is the economic center of the city. While the area's popularity waned a few years earlier, the Grand Avenue area has recently thrived again. There are many new bars, trendy restaurants and chic shops here.
Mid-Wilshire – Neighborhood just west of downtown with several of Los Angeles' top museums (Peterson Automotive Museum, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles County Museum of Art/LACMA).
San Pedro - exclave-shaped neighborhood to the south, administratively linked to the city proper by the "Harbor Gateway".


Name of the city

The city was officially founded by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve on September 4, 1781 as El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Ángeles (Spanish, "The Village of the Queen of Angels"). The name thus referred to Mary as Queen of the Angels, a Marian title derived from the Litany of Lauretania. Today's name Los Angeles is a shortening of the founding name to "the angels".

The unofficial name El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula [el ˈpweβlo de ˈnwestɾa seˈɲoɾa la ˈrei̯na de los ˈaŋxeles del ˈrio de poɾsiˈuŋkula] (The Village of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels of the River) was originally also widely used portuuncula). He makes specific reference to the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi, built over the Portiuncula chapel where Francis of Assisi died. He was the founder of the order that included the missionaries who came to America with the explorers.

Contrary to popular belief that this was the original name, scholars have determined from official documents of Governor Felipe de Neve, Commander-General Theodor de Croix and Viceroy Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa that the settlement was simply named El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles wore.

The abbreviation frequently (also colloquially) used is "L.A.". Because of the Spanish meaning of the city name, the city is nicknamed the City of Angels.


Getting here

By plane
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Los Angeles West's largest and most important international airport. There are direct connections with Lufthansa from Frankfurt am Main and Munich. All American and international airlines have Los Angeles in their program, but often only connecting flights are offered from Germany.

There are various other airports in the neighboring cities. See Greater Los Angeles Area.

By train
Los Angeles Union Station is served by Amtrak and Metrolink trains. Current Amtrak long-distance trains are:
the Pacific Surfliner (from San Luis Obispo to the north and San Diego to the south),
the Coast Starlight (from Seattle),
the Sunset Limited (from New Orleans), from San Antonio with through coaches from the Texas Eagle (from Chicago) and
the Southwest Chief (from Chicago).



Car: The entire Los Angeles region is criss-crossed by a highway system that is as dense as it is overcrowded. If you are not familiar with the area, you should have a good map to hand. For long distances or even trips to the outskirts, the car is unavoidable, but the time required can deviate significantly from the estimated time. If you decide to drive during rush hour, expect traffic similar to that on Germany's autobahns on Friday afternoons, just on ten lanes. Sometimes it is faster for vehicles with at least two occupants on the so-called Car Pool Lanes (HOV).

On foot: As with any city, Los Angeles is best explored on foot, but the vast distances in Los Angeles must be taken into account - and being on the same street doesn't mean you can walk from point A to point B within one day is coming!

Public transport: Meanwhile a real alternative in Los Angeles, especially in the actual city area. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority operates all lines that operate under the term Metro. This includes a relatively small but growing subway network (which mainly connects downtown with the south as well as North Hollywood and Pasadena) and a well-developed bus system. A day pass is fairly cheap at US$5 (a weekly pass is US$20) and is valid on all Metro lines, but there are surcharges for municipal buses, as well as for some express buses that operate on highways. A long bus ride can be quite an experience, as the composition of the passengers changes over longer distances to the same extent as the urban areas traveled through.



The Griffith Observatory is about 300 meters above sea level from the open space in front of the observatory you have an unobstructed panoramic view over the whole region. Inside is a museum with exhibits such as stones from the moon and Mars, a planetarium and a laserium. The fare for the LADOT Shuttle is 25 cents. Address: 2800 East Observatory Road, 90027 Los Angeles. Opening hours: Tuesday - Friday from 12.00 a.m. - 10.00 p.m. Saturday, Sunday from 10.00 a.m. - 10.00 p.m.



1 Los Angeles Public Library, 630 W Fifth Street. A rather hidden gem is the Public Library of the City of Los Angeles, which offers interesting architecture inside, including old painted wooden ceilings and a church-like tower hall. Admission is not charged, the rooms are accessible during normal opening hours. For those who are interested, there are also one or two guided tours a day (Mon-Fri 12:30 p.m., Sat 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., Sun 2:00 p.m.).
2 Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Avenue (corner of 1st Street). The Music Hall, which opened in October 2003, is another architectural highlight in the recent history of Los Angeles. The spectacular building by architect Frank Gehry is definitely worth seeing and should be included on a tour of downtown. Interior tours with guided audio tours are also available (US$10).
3 Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St. The Los Angeles Central Station was designed by John Parkinson and his son Donald B. Parkinson, who also designed Los Angeles City Hall and whose venture has inspired many of the city's major buildings since the late 19th century city left its mark. The architectural style combines Spanish Colonial, Mission Revival and late Art Deco with Moorish architectural details such as the eight-pointed stars. On both sides of the waiting room are patios, courtyard gardens. Travelers exiting the trains originally walked through the southern garden. The lower part of the interior walls is clad in travertine marble and the upper part in an early form of acoustic tile. The floor in the waiting room is covered with terracotta tiles and marble in the middle (including travertine, a little unusual in the floors as it is soft). Other parts of the station's flooring are colored tiles with Aztec influences. South of the main building is a small masterpiece, the remarkable train station restaurant, designed by Southwest architect Mary Colter. The pub was the last "Harvey House" restaurant to be built at railway stations.
4 Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City. Even if hustle and bustle á la Disneyland is not for everyone, you can hardly get past the Universal Studios. Admission is steep, US$ 95 for adults (2015), but can be reduced by using the discount vouchers available everywhere (e.g. tourist information). It offers perfect entertainment together with American amusement market hustle and bustle. In any case, you should take the 45-minute guided tour of the studios and sets, there is a lot to see that you know from the cinema and was filmed here, from Bates Motel from Psycho to the film set of the crashed 747 from War of the Worlds and numerous special effects. You learn a lot about current projects and drive e.g. B. by scenes currently under construction. Also recommended is the incredibly elaborate stunt show Waterworld - by the way, you really get wet on the green seats, that's no empty threat. Arrival: If you are traveling by car, there are additional parking fees (US$ 10-17), a good and cheap alternative is the subway (Red Line to Universal City) and then the free shuttle directly to the entrance.
5 Hollywood lettering
Korean Peace Bell. The Korean Peace Bell in San Pedro was featured in the film The Usual Suspects.



LaBrea Tar Pits & Museum, 5801 Wilshire Blvd (½ hour west of downtown, in the Mid-Wilshire area). Fossil deposit (asphalt pit) of the Pleistocene, in which a complete ecosystem was found, that is hundreds of animal and plant species, including e.g. B. big cats, wolves and mammoths. The centerpiece of the exhibits are the remains of the La Brea Woman (ca. 10,000 BC), the only human found here. Open: Daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Price: $12, discount for children and for seniors.

6 Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive. Anyone with even the slightest interest in modern architecture must check out the Getty Center in Brentwood in the Santa Monica Mountains. No museum building in the world has ever had a budget of one billion dollars and what architect Richard Meier has made of it is really worth a visit - even if you are not interested in the numerous spectacular art treasures that are on display. The museum is supported by the Getty Foundation, admission is free! Since the museum is a bit out of the way, it is most practical to travel by car (directly off the I-405 freeway, Getty Center exit). Contrary to the information in many travel guides, pre-registration for the multi-storey car park is no longer necessary and no longer possible. So, if you're first come, you can park at the foot of the museum (parking fee US$7), then take a funicular (monorail) up to the museum. Photographers should definitely take a good wide-angle lens with them, as the dimensions exceed the 'normal' camera (taking a tripod tripod is not allowed).

7 Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Tel: +1 323-667-2000, email: communications@theautry.org. The museum is dedicated to the art, culture and history of the American West. Open: Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday closed. Price: Adults and youth US$ 14, children from 3 to 12 years US$ 6.

Los Angeles is teeming with interesting architecture. Anyone with a sense for architecture is well advised to read up on it in advance. Here are just a few examples:

Aline M. Barnsdall House (Hollyhock House), 4808 Hollywood Blvd. FLW designed this 1919-1921 home for oil millionaire Aline Barnsdall. It is now the centerpiece of Barnsdall Art Park. Visitors can tour the interior of the house on their own. Open: Thu–Sun 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Price: $7 (seniors and students $3, children 11 and under free).

See also: California/Frank Lloyd Wright.

The residences of the rich and famous
The mountains above Hollywood are teeming with the private residences of Hollywood and rock stars, living and old alike. A list of addresses can be found e.g. e.g. here. Driving around the relevant streets by car is hardly worthwhile, however, because these houses are almost all thoroughly hidden behind well-kept hedges and you hardly get to see anything except locked gates. A virtual visit with Google Maps is more worthwhile for fans.

Louis Samuel/Ramon Novarro House, 2255 Verde Oak Dr. Architecture buffs will love this 1928 luxury home designed by Lloyd Wright (son of Frank Lloyd Wright) for Louis Samuel, personal secretary to silent film star Ramon Novarro. Later owners were Diane Keaton and Christina Ricci. Unlike most other notable and story-connected Hollywood residences, the Samuel Novarro home is not discreetly hidden; its spectacular façade - Wright was inspired by the Maya - is a glamorous sight for visitors to the neighborhood, and given that Novarro was more or less openly gay, one can imagine the effect this eye-catching monument had on contemporaries . The house is still privately owned, so its interior is not accessible; however, since the property is sandwiched between Verde Oak Drive and Valley Oak Drive, the Samuel Novarro house can be seen well from the street, both from above and from the chocolate side (below).


What to do

Venice Beach. The coastal district between Marina del Rey and Santa Monica is world famous and it appears again and again in films. Here is a really great beach with countless beach volleyball courts, and countless cyclists, joggers, skateboarders, and more or less crazy people cavort on the promenade. However, Venice is also home to many stranded existences. It's definitely worth a visit, and it's worth planning a full day to rent a bike and explore the Los Angeles Coastal Bike Path. After dark, all parking lots on the beach are closed for safety reasons! Parking fees around US$5-7.



Melrose Blvd, West Hollywood - between the house numbers 7000 and 8000 (La Brea to Fairfax) there are countless fashion shops, young, funky, hip. In between there are many cafes and restaurants. A stroll is worthwhile in any case. Bus routes 10 and 11 run the length of Melrose Blvd.
Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles – For all bargain hunters who still want to capture some of the glory of bygone times while shopping. Numerous Mexican traders have settled in the old cinemas on the Broadsways for several decades. There is everything here, mostly cheap and often you can also bargain. Even if it doesn't look as glamorous as Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, you can still find a bargain or two here. Don't be put off, it's safe there.



Cobb Salad. is a typical mixed salad. It is said to have been invented in 1937 at the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood. The owner Robert H. Cobb is said to have put it together as a workaround from various components. The salad consists of the following ingredients: lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocado, fried bacon, fried chicken breast, boiled eggs, blue cheese, spring onions, often black olives, sweet peppers or artichoke hearts. Served with Cobb Salad Dressing, a heavily seasoned vinaigrette.

La Bella Cucina, 949 S Figueroa Street. Italian restaurant with really good food and pleasantly low noise level. At a medium price level, you can eat here without any time pressure.



Sunset Strip. The Sunset Strip is one of Los Angeles' most famous nightlife spots. Located in West Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard, it is bounded by Doheny Drive to the west and Crescent Heights Boulevard to the east. In addition to restaurants and boutiques, partygoers will find a large number of rock clubs here, which e.g. T. are or were owned by Hollywood stars (e.g. The Viper Room, 8852 Sunset Boulevard). While parking isn't cheap and there's a risk of traffic jams, it's not a good idea to take the bus to and from here. On the one hand for safety reasons, on the other hand because the buses are not necessarily reliable.



Figueroa Hotel, 939 South Figueroa. The special charm of this hotel in the middle price category is the unique interior design of the building, which is based entirely on a Moroccan style and, for Europeans, contrasts pleasantly with the rather tasteless style of many American hotels. Rooms are on the small side but not uncomfortable -- the hotel lobby is a hit. The hotel is also named the best low-budget hotel in Los Angeles in US hotel reviews. Price: Parking $12 per day, WiFi $8 per day.




Emergency call: 911

Los Angeles is a relatively safe city during the day, but it's better to stay in familiar territory after dark. Two rules of thumb can be used as a guide:

The closer you are to the coast, the safer the areas are considered. Irrespective of this, you should avoid the direct beach areas at night (also applies to Venice Beach).
In the northern areas it can be said that everything west (towards the coast) of Interstate 110 (Long Beach-Pasadena) is considered to be a so-called safe area. The areas to the east should not be explored as pedestrians, at least at night. Although it has to be said that as a pedestrian outside of the tourist areas of LA one is always suspect (also during the day) and viewed with suspicion because in the Autostadt LA nobody actually walks even short distances.


Neighborhoods to avoid

During the day and definitely at night, the homeless district of Skid Row (the district is bordered by Main Street, 3rd Street, Alameda Street and 7th Street) should be avoided - however, the Greyhound bus station is located there, which is best reached by car Taxi or Uber etc. should reach.
After sunset also Venice Beach (there is a general ban on parking in all parking lots after sunset anyway).
Inglewood/Compton/Lynwood/Lomitas/Watts/South Central: the whole area south of the center including Watts and Compton is only safe to pass by highways or freeways (for tourists - not for locals, they don't attract attention). According to locals, Compton (that's roughly between Rosecrans Ave. and Gardena Fwy (71) and Avalon Blvd. and Long-Beach Fwy (I710)) is one of the most dangerous cities in the entire United States.
The area around Terminal Island and the Long Beach docks (but not Long Beach Downtown—that's for sure).


Practical hints

Los Angeles Visitor Information Center, 685 South Figueroa Street (between Wilshire Boulevard and 7th Street). Tel: +1 (213) 689-8822. Of course there is a lot of information here, route maps for the local transport systems and lots of vouchers for various discounts on admission. Open: Weekdays 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.



Los Angeles' downtown and suburbs sit in a hilly coastal region averaging 100 meters above sea level.[10] To the west and south, the city borders the Santa Monica Bay of the Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by mountain ranges to the east and north. Also north of the city is the San Fernando Valley, where a third of residents live in single-family homes. The valley is cut off from Hollywood and downtown by Griffith Park and the Santa Monica Mountains.

The administrative urban area has an area of 1290.6 km². Of this, 1214.9 km² is land and 75.7 km² is water. The urban area stretches 71 km north-south and 47 km east-west. It is interconnected by a system of expressways made of steel and concrete structures. The city is polluted by the highest concentration of motor vehicles in the world, the exhaust gases from cars and industry have become an urgent environmental problem. As a result, Los Angeles is among the cities with the highest levels of smog exposure in the United States.

The city is sometimes referred to as a horizontal city because it has relatively few skyscrapers and the overall metropolitan area is very spacious. Despite this, high real estate prices in the center of Los Angeles mean that high-rise buildings are now catching on there as well. The agglomeration, i.e. the consistently built-up area, covers an area of 4320 km².

There are several definitions of the Los Angeles metropolitan area:
The Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes the 15 boroughs (districts) of Los Angeles and the two counties Los Angeles (Metropolitan Division Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale) and Orange (Metropolitan Division Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario). It has a land area of 12,562 km².
The Combined Statistical Area (CSA) includes 173 independent cities. It includes Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, and Orange counties. The expanded metropolitan area thus extends to the border of Nevada and has an area of 87,941 km². Only a fraction of this area is used for urban development. Most of it consists of uninhabited parts, namely the Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree National Park, which is located in Riverside and San Bernardino County.



The San Andreas Fault runs along the eastern edge of the metropolitan area; also, just below the city is the Puente Hills Fault. The resulting seismic hazard explains the strict building codes used throughout the Southern California seismic area. Since 1800, Los Angeles has been struck by nine major earthquakes, measuring six and greater, and thousands of smaller ones. Numerous buildings are built to be earthquake-proof, which significantly reduces the number of fatalities in earthquakes.

Up until 1958, there was also a legal requirement that the upper limit for buildings could not exceed 45 meters or 14 floors. An exception was only the town hall from 1928 with 138 meters. Earthquake-proof constructions later made the law superfluous. The hazard of earthquakes, moving away from dense development and establishing a vision that Los Angeles should be more of a "city in the garden" (city in the garden) were the ideas behind this regulation. This is also an explanation for the expansion of the city.

The strongest earthquake in recent history was the Fort Tejon earthquake on January 9, 1857, near what is now Wrightwood and Palmdale Township. The magnitude 7.9 quake caused only minor damage because the region was sparsely populated at the time. If such an earthquake were to occur today, it would result in damage worth several billion US dollars and the loss of life would be considerable.

On March 10, 1933, the magnitude 6.4 Long Beach earthquake claimed 120 lives. There was $50 million in property damage in Long Beach and other locations. Many of the damaged buildings were not built earthquake-proof. Another major earthquake occurred on February 9, 1971 with a magnitude of 6.6. The 1971 San Fernando earthquake (also known as the Sylmar earthquake) caused $500 million in damage in the San Fernando Valley and claimed 65 lives. The June 28, 1991 quake had a magnitude of 5.8, but because of its depth it did not cause a surface fracture. Still, $40 million in damage was incurred, primarily in the San Gabriel Valley.

On January 17, 1994, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck the city of Los Angeles. The epicenter of the Northridge earthquake was in the Reseda neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley. 57 people died and 12,000 people were injured. Important transport links and an estimated 100,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), property damage amounted to US$ 40 billion.

In 2008, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Southern California Seismological Center published a new study. The researchers predicted a severe earthquake of magnitude 6.7 for California by 2038 with a 99.7 percent probability. An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 or greater was predicted with a 46 percent probability. The greater Los Angeles area is somewhat more at risk than San Francisco in the north of the state. For example, the possibility of a magnitude 6.7 earthquake is 67 percent in Los Angeles and 63 percent in San Francisco.

On July 29, 2008, at 11:42 a.m. local time, a magnitude 5.4 earthquake was recorded. The epicenter was approximately 46 km east-southeast of downtown, near Chino Hills.


Settlement form

The Los Angeles region is characterized by extreme urban sprawl. The entire city is broken up like a mosaic into a large number of individual districts. The districts have different functions such as business districts or residential districts and are clearly differentiated from each other. The population groups living in the individual residential districts also differ significantly in terms of origin, education, income or age structure. Some of the districts are isolated from each other, and not infrequently even sealed off by walls or fences. There is no dominant center in the entire urban region. The city center, Downtown Los Angeles, has the only collection of skyscrapers in the huge sea of houses and also has a symbolic meaning, but it is only one of many districts. Within the Los Angeles agglomeration there are many districts with their own center, their own character and with specialized functions, such as Long Beach, Santa Ana, Anaheim or Pasadena.

While this diversification and fragmentation is a problem, it can also be one of the reasons for the city's rise. Los Angeles is one of the most heterogeneous cities in the world, shaped by the individualism of its residents. Different milieus and lifestyles coexist, which means that urban space can no longer be recognized as a coherent unit. This is reflected in particular in the lack of a clearly recognizable center. Since the end of the 20th century, a number of new terms have been developed for these post-modernist forms of settlement, such as exopolis, post-metropolis or the concept of the intermediate city. Such cities are often also referred to as edgeless cities or edge cities, as suburban, post-urban or de-urban areas. With the term urban-rural hybrid, an attempt is made to take account of the developments in post-modern settlement forms – with a focus on Los Angeles. Such agglomerations represent a new type of spatial development, “the prerequisite for which is extensive suburbanization.” The research group at the Los Angeles School of Urbanism devoted itself to researching these developments, particularly in the late 1980s and 1990s.



The city is located in the subtropical climate zone. The average annual temperature is 18 degrees Celsius and the average annual rainfall is 305 millimeters. The warmest months are July and August with an average of 22.8 degrees Celsius and the coldest January with an average of 13.2 degrees Celsius. Almost the entire annual precipitation falls in the months of November to March, so it is mostly dry between May and October.

In summer, temperatures in Los Angeles are usually around 22 to 25 degrees Celsius during the day. Without the location on the Pacific coast, it would be even warmer as winds off the sea moderate temperatures. In winter, on the other hand, it is a bit colder, with temperatures almost never dropping below 15 degrees Celsius. At night, the temperature drops by around ten degrees Celsius on average. The humidity is between 50 and 75 percent.

Typical of the climate in the Los Angeles region are several smaller climate zones that can be clearly distinguished from one another. This is mainly due to the various mountain ranges that separate the Los Angeles Basin from, for example, the San Fernando Valley and other areas further inland. In the San Fernando Valley, for example, summers are often several degrees warmer than the coast, while winters are noticeably cooler.

Heat waves occur every two to three years, during which temperatures can rise to over 40 degrees Celsius. The reason for this are the so-called Santa Ana winds, which come over the Santa Ana Mountains from the deserts to the east of the city. Extensive forest and bush fires occur again and again. On October 3, 1933, 29 firefighters died in Griffith Park in one of the worst bushfires in the United States. Between late October and early November 1993, fires in metropolitan Los Angeles burned thousands of acres of built land. The highest temperature was measured on July 22, 2006 in Woodland Hills with 48.3 degrees Celsius, the lowest temperature on February 6, 1989 in Canoga Park with -7.8 degrees Celsius.


Environmental issues

Of concern is the high levels of air pollution -- high levels of ozone, nitrous oxides and hydrocarbons -- in Los Angeles from local industry and automobile traffic. The Los Angeles/Long Beach/Riverside metro area was one of the most polluted urban areas in the United States in a 2007 report by the American Lung Association. In addition to industries and everyday traffic of private cars and trucks, air pollution can be attributed to a significant extent to inland port traffic, i. H. the trucks that carry goods between the quay and the deposit, and where the engines are often idling. Electric heavy-duty vehicles, which have been introduced since 2009, are intended to remedy the situation.

The pollutant concentrations are particularly high in the morning and evening commuter traffic. In contrast, photochemical smog, the main component of which is ozone, reaches its highest concentration at noon. Since the city is surrounded by mountain ranges, air exchange with the surrounding countryside is hampered. The sea wind only reaches the Los Angeles basin without breaking the inversion weather pattern over the city.

Ozone and other chemicals cause coughing, eye irritation, headaches and lung dysfunction in the population. Efforts have been made to solve the problem since the early 1980s. In 1979, for example, increased levels of pollutants were still being measured on 120 days a year, but in 1996, after the introduction of even stricter emissions regulations for new cars (catalytic converters had been mandatory since 1973), only on seven days. In the new millennium, the number of smog days has fallen to almost zero. Despite this, the Los Angeles metro area still emits one of the highest levels of toxic gases into the atmosphere in the country. The main reason is the poorly developed public transport.

Air pollution in Los Angeles also endangers the more distant mountain lakes and snow-capped regions of the Sierra Nevada and is responsible for forest dieback. Strong winds carry the pollutants as far as Palm Springs in Riverside County, where they lead to increased concentrations of pollutants.



city founding
The first European to arrive in the region was explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, who claimed the land for Spain in 1542 without founding a settlement. In 1771, Spanish Franciscan monks founded the "San Gabriel" mission near Whittier Narrows, which later formed the starting point for the settlement of the region. The Spanish missions in California were intended to expand Spain's influence and the power of the Church. To protect it from attacks by the natives living there, the mission was fortified.

After the mission was established, the Spanish governor of California, Felipe de Neve, sent eleven families to till the land. On September 4, 1781, the Los Angeles community was formed with 44 settlers on Tongva Native territory. At that time there was still mainly cattle breeding. In the following decades, the first American settlers established themselves in the region.

In 1821 Los Angeles fell to Mexico, which had won its independence from Spain after a long war. In 1835, the Mexican Congress made the settlement a city and also the capital of Mexico's northernmost region, Alta California. However, the second part of the decree was never enforced and was soon revised. Monterey remained the capital of California until 1849. The population of Los Angeles grew to 2,228 residents by 1836, after which it temporarily declined again. Until the mid-19th century, Los Angeles was a Mexican community, but made up primarily of American settlers, poor Chinese workers, and a few wealthy Mexican landowners.

In 1846, schoolmaster William Ide proclaimed California's independence. The republic lasted only a short time. During the Mexican-American War between 1846 and 1848, Alta California and with it Los Angeles were occupied by American soldiers and annexed to the United States. In 1848 gold was found north of Sacramento, which started the well-known gold rush. Lots of prospectors came to the area, and Los Angeles also benefited by selling meat, fruit, and vegetables to the diggers.

Shortly thereafter, the first of two European pharmacists (both of German descent) arrived in Los Angeles. The first was the pharmacist Theodore Wollweber. In 1861, Adolph Junge settled there as the second pharmacist. He ran his "drug store" on the "Temple Block" on Main Street for around 20 years. The later well-known German pharmacist F. J. Gieze worked as a clerk at Junge in 1874. Junge's recipe book and his estate are now in the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

The place received US city rights on April 4, 1850 as part of the founding of the State of California by the United States; at that time it had 1,610 inhabitants. Los Angeles remained almost untouched by the Civil War (1861-1865) between the southern states that had left the United States – the Confederacy – and the northern states that remained in the Union.

Floods in 1861/62 and a subsequent devastating drought led to the ruin of many farms specializing in animal husbandry. At the same time, a new upswing began, mainly due to property speculation. The result was a rise in land prices and the influx of large numbers of Chinese, Japanese and European immigrants.

The rejection of Chinese migrants by large parts of the US population increased to anti-Chinese hysteria during the economic crisis of the 1870s. On October 24, 1871, a racial riot broke out in Los Angeles after a white man was accidentally killed in a war between rival Chinese gangs. As the uprising continued, a mob of more than 500 people of European descent invaded Chinatown, killing 19 of the residents. Among those killed, only one was involved in the original gang war. A white man had also been killed trying to stop the killing.

The largest immigrant group came from the Midwest, from states like Iowa and Indiana, and replaced the old Mexican elite as a new political class. The old large farms were soon subdivided and the population grew. From 1870 to 1900, the city's population increased from almost 6,000 to around 102,000 inhabitants. In the first ten years of the 20th century, the population more than tripled (1910: 319,000 inhabitants). Extensive incorporations, including the cities of Wilmington and San Pedro (both 1909) in the south and Hollywood (1910) in the west, also contributed to this enormous growth. Today's Port of Los Angeles was built in San Pedro from 1899 to 1914. The largest territorial incorporation came in 1915 when most of the San Fernando Valley was annexed to Los Angeles.

The railway was to prove to be an important engine of development for the next few decades. In 1869 the first railroad line opened in Los Angeles. It ran 21 miles from what is now downtown to then-independent San Pedro, where the Port of Los Angeles is now located. But it wasn't until the Union Pacific Railroad (San Francisco) in 1876 and the Santa Fe railroad in 1885 connected it to the rest of the country that the city's growth accelerated. At this time, new irrigation techniques were tested and crops suitable for the region, such as B. Oranges discovered. The city soon became synonymous with good health, a clean environment, plentiful sun and endless citrus orchards in the metropolises of the eastern United States. The two competing railroad lines were soon undercutting each other with low fares on East Coast tickets, helping to attract settlers to Los Angeles.

Coal was mined from 1890. However, the extensive oil reserves under the city, which were first drilled in 1892 near present-day Dodger Stadium, proved to be far more important for further development. From then on, the drilling rigs spread across large parts of the region in a short time. In the first half of the 20th century, Los Angeles became one of the most important centers of oil production and in 1923 as much as a quarter of the world production was produced in the Los Angeles area. Oil production still plays a certain role today.

In the years before the turn of the century, those responsible for the city thought about the water supply of Los Angeles in order to ensure the enormous growth for the future. For a city located in a semi-arid climate zone, this was and is an enormously important issue. Until then, Los Angeles was supplied with drinking and service water by the nearby Los Angeles River. When its water supplies were no longer sufficient, the first Los Angeles aqueduct was built in the north in 1913, transporting water from the Owens Valley 300 kilometers away to Los Angeles. In the years before and after 1910, Los Angeles was able to incorporate numerous surrounding communities, including Wilmington, San Pedro (both 1909), and Hollywood (1910), thanks to cheap drinking water supplies.

In 1910, film producers discovered the Los Angeles area as an ideal production location and moved from New York and Chicago to Hollywood. In the years that followed, Gilbert M. Anderson achieved great success with his westerns and Mack Sennett with his slapstick comedies. When in 1927 the film The Jazz Singer helped the sound film to make a breakthrough, there was another upswing. The Hollywood-based film industry became one of the most important industries in the United States, attracting many newcomers to Los Angeles. The first epic color film, David O. Selznick's Gone with the Wind, was released in 1939 and won ten Oscars.

In the 1920s, numerous other neighboring communities such as Sawtelle (1922), Hyde Park (1923), Eagle Rock (1923), Venice (1925), Watts (1926), Barnes City (1927) and Tujunga (1932) were incorporated. Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, which are considered parts of Los Angeles economically and culturally, have been able to retain their administrative independence to this day.

The 1932 Olympic Games are certainly one of the most important events of the 1930s. For the first time in the history of the Games, an Olympic Village was built for the male participants. Today the village is part of the Baldwin Hills neighborhood. In the same year 1932 the population of Los Angeles rose to over one million.


Business center

By the middle of the 20th century, the small suburban house with a swimming pool and double garage had become an enduring symbol of the city. A major boom began during the Second World War with the aerospace industry, which settled in large numbers in the greater Los Angeles area due to the war.

Numerous German-speaking artists and intellectuals chose Los Angeles as a place of refuge from the National Socialists. These included Bertolt Brecht, Marlene Dietrich, Lion Feuchtwanger, Otto Klemperer, Fritz Lang, Ernst Lubitsch, Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann, Luise Rainer and Billy Wilder. But artists from other countries also found a new home here: Luis Buñuel, Jean Renoir, Igor Stravinsky, Arturo Toscanini and many others. Numerous great works by poets, conductors, directors and painters were created in exile; the emigrants turned 1940s Los Angeles into a vibrant center of European culture.

But the city also continued to struggle with racist violence. In 1943 there was a series of riots that went down in history as the Zoot Suit Riots. They ignited between the soldiers stationed in the city and gangs of Mexican-American youth led by so-called pachucos, known for the zoot suits they wore.

As early as the 1920s, despite an efficient tram network, the automobile had become the Angelenos' preferred means of transport. In that decade, Los Angeles had more cars per capita than any other major American city. On January 1, 1940, the Arroyo Seco Parkway, the first urban freeway, opened between Pasadena and north downtown. This set the course for further development. After the war, companies such as General Motors, Greyhound Lines, and the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company purchased and then dismantled the Los Angeles Railway streetcar system in what became known as the great American streetcar scandal. In its place, a widespread motorway network was created. According to the premise of the 1950s, no citizen should live more than four miles from a freeway ramp. In 1960, the first high-rise office building was built into the city's formerly low silhouette, the tallest structure of which was the 1928 City Hall.

In August 1965 there were serious race riots in Los Angeles' southern district of Watts. Dubbed the Watts riot, the riots claimed 32 lives and injured 874 in six days. Property damage was $45 million.

The sharp increase in car traffic led to the first problems from the late 1970s. Smog, decentralization and a rapidly increasing crime rate shaped the image of the city. Since the early 1990s, however, LA has been working on the construction of a light rail network again, after almost three decades of local public transport in the metropolis having to make do with buses. However, the financial and bureaucratic effort involved in building the metro is much greater than when building the original network, since not only is the city much more densely built-up today, but earthquakes also have to be taken into account when building the underground lines.

The riots in Los Angeles from April 29 to May 2, 1992 represented one of the largest race riots in US history. The trigger was the acquittal of four white police officers who were accused of abusing the African American Rodney King. The riots killed 53 people, injured 2,383, and caused $800 million in property damage.

With the end of the Cold War in 1990, an important industry in the city, the aerospace industry, was severely affected. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and the reorientation of the defense strategy to combat terrorism, this branch of industry is once again of great economic and strategic importance for the USA. At the beginning of the 21st century, the city's status as the cultural and economic center of the region is undisputed. Problems the city has to deal with are unemployment, heavy traffic, environmental pollution and gang crime.



Los Angeles is home to people from a total of 140 countries who speak 224 different languages. The 2020 census revealed a population of around 3.9 million. The 1.8 million Latinos made up the largest population group, accounting for 48.5% of the total population of the city, and 28.6% of the residents belonged to the (non-Hispanic) white population. The Asians, mainly Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Thais and Filipinos, are also a rapidly increasing population group. Together with the Iranian, often Jewish, residents (more than half a million), they accounted for 11.6% of the city's total population. The African Americans had a share of 8.9%, the Native Americans formed the smallest population group with 0.7% or 28,215 people. A language other than English is spoken in 60% of households, mainly Spanish. However, due to an English-speaking living environment, such as in school or in the media, a large proportion of US-born Latinos speak and understand good English.

Although cultures are generally very mixed in the city and in Los Angeles County, as in all international cities and metropolitan areas with multicultural populations, there is some ethnic or cultural distribution of neighborhoods. Such "divisions" almost always flow into one another and merge with one another.

Urban areas with a very high proportion of Latinos are typically East Los Angeles and Montebello, in which more and more people from Latin America, especially Mexico, but also El Salvador or Honduras have settled since the 1970s, and sometimes even at the beginning of the century . Also, South Los Angeles, also known as South Central, is a borough with a very large Hispanic population, often exceeding 90% in some eastern neighborhoods. Neighborhoods and cities such as Huntington Park, South Gate, Lynnwood, Bell (California), Bell Gardens, and Lennox, Hawthorne, and Westlake are also heavily Hispanic. Many African Americans live in western South Los Angeles. Likewise, urban areas or towns such as Inglewood, Crenshaw, Leimert Park, Westmont and Compton are predominantly inhabited by blacks. Asians, mostly East and Southeast Asians such as Chinese, Taiwanese and Vietnamese of Chinese descent, live largely in Monterey Park and the Alhambra area of the western San Gabriel Valley. Additionally, there are significant Asian populations in L.A. County cities such as Torrance, Carson, Gardena, and Koreatown and Chinatown. The majority of the white population lives along the Pacific Coast from Rancho Palos Verdes through Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, Marina del Rey up to and including Santa Monica, and between Lakewood and eastern Long Beach. Furthermore, a larger white population lives in the area between Santa Monica and Hollywood. The areas in between include West Los Angeles, Culver City, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and Hancock Park. Neighborhoods on and around the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, such as Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Westwood, Bel Air, Hollywood Hills, Loz Feliz, and Silver Lake, are also mostly white.



Los Angeles is home to adherents of many religions. Among the more than 100 Christian denominations, the Roman Catholic Church is dominant due to the large Hispanic population. Other important Christian denominations are Adventists, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, Orthodox and Jehovah's Witnesses. Minor religious groups are adherents of the Baha'i Faith, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, Sikhism, Sufism, and Zoroastrianism.

The region's Roman Catholic Church is organized within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. It was established on June 1, 1922 as the diocese of Los Angeles-San Diego and raised to the archdiocese on July 11, 1936. With 4.2 million believers (2004), it is considered the largest diocese in the United States. It is one of the typical cardinal sees of the Catholic Church, with the archbishop having six auxiliary bishops available to carry out his pastoral duties. The ecclesiastical province today includes the dioceses of Fresno, Monterey, Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego. Jose Horacio Gómez has been Archbishop of Los Angeles since 2011. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels), completed in 2002 to plans by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, is the episcopal church of the Archdiocese.

The Los Angeles California Temple, built in 1956, is the second largest shrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) (after the Salt Lake Temple). The temple is 112 meters long, 82 meters wide and 78 meters high. A statue of the angel and prophet Moroni is mounted on top of the temple tower.

With 490,000 people (2001), Los Angeles has the third largest Jewish community in the United States (after New York and Miami). Many synagogues are located in the city, mostly in the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles.

Due to the large number of immigrants from Asia, the Buddhist community has seen strong growth in recent years. Los Angeles currently has the largest Buddhist population in the United States and is home to a wide variety of schools and systems of Buddhism. There are more than 300 Buddhist temples spread across the city.

Numerous Hindu swamis and gurus have practiced in Los Angeles since the early 20th century. The Self-Realization Fellowship is based in Hollywood and has a private park in Pacific Palisades. The non-profit religious society was founded in Los Angeles in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda as the "Church of All Religions". It is also where the founder of the Hare Krishna Movement (ISKCON), Bhaktivedanta Swami, established its world headquarters from 1968. ISKCON's Krishna Temple on Watseka Avenue is open daily and is supported by many Hindus of Indian descent. Tens of thousands of people attend the Ratha-yatra float festival on Venice Beach every July.


Population development

The population explosion in the 20th century - in 1900 the city had only 102,000 inhabitants - caught Los Angeles completely unprepared. New buildings such as single-family houses, commercial buildings or shopping centers were mostly built as low-rise buildings, which caused the city to expand enormously in area. The number of inhabitants is still increasing today. Immigration from Latin America, especially from Mexico, and also from Asia also plays an important role. More than a third of Los Angeles' population was born outside the United States.

The following overview shows the population of the city according to the respective territorial status. Census results are given for the years 1800 to 2010. As of July 1, 2013, the United States Census Bureau estimates the population at 3,884,307. This corresponds to very high growth compared to the period 1990 to 2010.



Problems are caused by the high crime rate, including gang crime in particular. Los Angeles is one of the cities with the highest number of street gangs. According to an estimate by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), more than 400 gangs with at least 39,000 members are active in the city. They face 350 special police officers who specialize in gang crime.

Some areas are considered very dangerous because of the street gangs, especially at night. These include many neighborhoods in the South Los Angeles district and the suburbs of Compton and Lynwood. Compton's homicide rate is about six times the national average.

A total of 132,034 crimes were recorded in Los Angeles in 2006 (2005 = 142,506 and 2004 = 163,626). The overall crime rate fell by 7.3 percent compared to the same period in 2005, compared to 2004 by 19.3 percent. In the individual categories, the development in 2006 was as follows (decrease in brackets compared to 2005): 481 murders (−1.8 percent), 903 rapes (−7.2 percent), 14,235 robberies (+5.5 percent), 14,118 serious injuries (−9.1 percent), 20,020 burglaries in private homes and buildings (−8.2 percent), 29,911 thefts from motor vehicles (−8.8 percent), 27,779 thefts of personal property/other thefts (−9.3 percent) and 24,587 car thefts (−8.1 percent).