Minneapolis, Minnesota

With around 429,954 inhabitants, Minneapolis is the most populous city in the US state of Minnesota. Together with St. Paul, it forms the metropolitan area of the Twin Cities with over 3.6 million inhabitants (as of 2020).

The city's name comes from a combination of words from two languages, the Dakota Indian word for water (“minne”) and the Greek word for city (“polis”).


Culture and sights

Minneapolis, along with its twin city of St. Paul, forms a cultural focal point in the Midwestern United States. Both cities have the highest per capita density of theaters in the United States after New York City. Architect Jean Nouvel designed a new theater building for the traditional Guthrie Theater in 2006. In addition to the well-known theaters such as the restored State Theater, the Orpheum Theater or the Pantages Theater, there are also numerous smaller theaters and stages where shows, ballets and concerts are performed.

The Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by Principal Conductor Osmo Vänskä, is considered one of the country's finest symphony orchestras and performs regularly in Orchestra Hall.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is an art museum built in 1915 in the south of the city with over 80,000 exhibits. The Walker Art Center has been named by Newsweek as one of the top contemporary museums in the country. It was the first public art museum in the upper Midwest and was renovated and expanded from 1999 to 2005.

Architecture and unusual buildings
In addition, there are a number of architecturally sophisticated buildings in Minneapolis, e.g.:
Chambers Hotel, sister property of the famous New York hotel
Central Library
W Foshay, originally an Art Deco tower
Graves 601 Hotel
The Depot, a former train station building in the center of the city
Opened in 1872 and covering approximately 100 hectares, Lakewood Cemetery is considered to be of scenic and architectural interest.
The Interstate-35W Mississippi River Bridge, built in 1967; a pierless bridge over the Mississippi River with a maximum span of 150 m, which collapsed on August 1, 2007 during rush hour traffic.
Bardwell-Ferrant House
The US Bank Stadium was built in 2016 and is home to the Minnesota Vikings in the American professional football league NFL.

A total of 142 structures and sites in the city are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) as of October 7, 2020, with two flour mills, Washburn A Mill and Pillsbury A Mill, and Christ Church Lutheran having National Historic Landmark status .



The regions around today's Minneapolis belonged to the settlement areas of the Dakota. French fur traders arrived in the area around 1680. From then on, European settlers increasingly claimed the Mississippi region for themselves. In various treaties with the Mdewakanton, these were increasingly pushed out by the Europeans. Since the construction of Fort St. Anthony, later Fort Snelling, at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers in 1819 by the United States Armed Forces, several new settlements have sprung up. Minneapolis, north of Saint Anthony Falls, became a city in 1867, and the railroad to Chicago opened that same year. In 1872, Minneapolis merged with the now smaller city of St. Anthony, which had developed east of the Mississippi since 1848.

With the construction of grain mills at the Saint-Anthony Falls, very fine flour could be produced. Between 1880 and 1930, the city became one of the most important flour producers in the United States. The high effectiveness of the water-powered mills was considered innovative and made Minneapolis known worldwide. Numerous settlers from the eastern United States came to the city and allowed it to grow rapidly. Between 1880 and 1930 the number of inhabitants increased tenfold to over 460,000. In addition to many grain mills, numerous sawmills were built at the falls, which processed the wood from northern Minnesota. In 1905, nearly 10 percent of the flour and grist consumed in the United States was produced in Minneapolis.

In the 1950s, the renewal of the city center began. Over 200 new buildings were erected, and numerous old buildings, some of which were of historical value, were demolished. The Metropolitan Building, built in 1890 and one of the first and most important skyscrapers in the city, was demolished.

On May 25, 2020, in the city, African American George Floyd was killed in an operation by white police officer Derek Chauvin who knelt on Floyd's neck and back for almost 10 minutes. This was followed by days of – sometimes violent – protests.



Minneapolis is located in the Midwestern United States on the Mississippi River. It has an area of around 151 square kilometers. Six percent of this is water and 15 percent is parkland. The 45th degree of latitude runs south of the city center. The lowest elevation above sea level is at the confluence of Minnehaha Creek and the Mississippi River at 209 meters. The highest point is in the Prospect Park area at 282 meters.

The climate in Minneapolis is typical of the Midwest. Winters are very cold and dry, summers are warm and at times humid. In the Köppen/Geiger climate classification, the city falls into the humid continental climate (Dfa).

The highest temperature ever recorded is 42.2 degrees Celsius in July 1936, the lowest -40.6 degrees Celsius in January 1888. The winter of 1983/84 was the snowiest, with 2.5 meters of snow falling. Due to its unprotected location in the north of the United States, Minneapolis often comes under the influence of polar cold air masses in winter. The annual average temperature of the Minneapolis-St. Paul's 7 degrees Celsius is also the lowest of any metropolitan area within the United States.



In the 1850s and 1860s, New England and New York businessmen, speculators, clergymen, and urban developers settled in what is now Minneapolis on the Mississippi River. From the mid-1860s, immigrants from the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway and Denmark followed. Later, immigrants from Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland, Bohemia, and Southeastern Europe came to the city. Russians and Eastern Europeans also settled there. Asian immigrants have increasingly settled in Minneapolis since the early 20th century. These included mainly Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese and Koreans. After the immigration of Asians increased from the 1970s, Hispanics and Afro-American population began to gradually increase in the early 1990s, with around 100,000 people of Somali origin living in the metropolitan region. The highest population figure was reached in the 1950 census with 521,718 inhabitants, since then it has steadily decreased until 1990. The reason for this is strong suburbanization. Since 2000, the population has remained constant at around 382,500 inhabitants. For the year 2010, a population of 382,578 was determined during the census, which corresponds to a decrease of only 40 inhabitants compared to 2000. The proportions of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanics in the total population are steadily increasing. However, the ethnic minorities are at an educational disadvantage compared to the white population. While 42 percent of the white population has a bachelor's degree, this figure is 15 percent for the African American population and 13 percent for the Hispanic population. Living standards have continued to improve compared to 2000, and per capita income is among the highest in the Midwest, although here too there are large disparities between the various ethnic groups. Almost a third of Asian Americans live below the poverty line, compared to nine percent of the white population.



The city forms with the surrounding metropolitan area an important economic center in the Midwest of the United States. Minneapolis is home to the food and manufacturing industries, banking and finance, healthcare and trucking companies, and railroads, among others.

Five Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters in the Minneapolis area: retail chain Target Corporation, financial institution U.S. Bancorp, energy company Xcel Energy, financial services firm Ameriprise Financial and Lutheran insurance company Thrivent Financial. Other Fortune 1000 companies include Valspar, Polaris Industries and Donaldson Company.

The Mall of America (MoA), just south of Minneapolis, is the most visited shopping center in the world with 42 million visitors a year.

The Twin Cities metro area had a gross domestic product of $235.7 billion in 2014, ranking the region fourteenth in the United States. The unemployment rate is less than 3 percent (October 2015).

Minneapolis was ranked 61st in a study by the consulting firm Mercer on the quality of life in 231 cities around the world. (Status: 2018).



Air traffic
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) is an international commercial airport that extends across the Southeast. In the past it has been continuously expanded and developed and is an internationally important airport with 35.6 million passengers (2007). It is served by three international, twelve national, seven charter and four regional airlines.

rail transport
The railroad played a significant role in Minneapolis' early development. Major railroads are or were the BNSF Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad. Although the volume dropped after the Second World War and some stations and routes were closed, the railway is still an important means of transport, especially for freight traffic. With the Northtown Yard, the BNSF operates a large marshalling yard in the north of the city, the origins of which date back to the 1910s.

Every day, the Amtrak-operated Empire Builder, a national passenger train on its way from Seattle/Portland to Chicago and the return train from Chicago stops at the Union Depot station in St. Paul, which was reopened in May 2014. Since then, the Union Depot can also be reached directly from Minneapolis by local transport, the Metro Green Line. Until the refurbished Union Depot was operational, Amtrak dispatched its trains at Midway Station in St. Paul.

On November 16, 2009, the so-called Northstar commuter line opened, a regional train between Minneapolis and Big Lake with a route length of about 40 miles.

road traffic
As a result of the growth of the metropolitan area and the emergence of automobile traffic in the 20th century, a dense and well-developed road network developed in and around Minneapolis, which, however, reaches its capacity limits, especially during rush hour. Major freeways in Minneapolis include Interstate 94 and Interstate 35 W.


Local public transport

Despite the increasing popularity of the express train, the bus is still the most important means of public transport. There are about 130 bus routes in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, often with dedicated bus lanes on broad streets. Particularly popular is the Hi-Frequency Network, which is part of 12 bus routes that operate in busy areas during the day at less than 15-minute intervals from Monday to Saturday.

Light Rail and Trams
Ever since Minneapolis streetcars closed in 1953, the city's residents have had to rely on a deteriorating bus network. However, since the 1970s there have been calls for a light rail system or the reintroduction of trams.

In January 2001, construction began on Minneapolis' first light rail line, dubbed the Hiawatha Line. It was partially opened on June 26, 2004 and has been in its current size since December 4, 2004. Since 2011 its name has been METRO Blue Line. The line begins north of downtown at the intersection of 5th Street North and Hennepin Avenue in the historic Warehouse District, then follows 5th Street through downtown to the Metrodome, a large football stadium in southeast downtown, and then runs southeast along Hiawatha Avenue through residential neighborhoods from Minneapolis to the airport, where it runs underground and connects two terminals. The route then runs through the suburb of Bloomington to the Mall of America. From there, another line, the so-called Red Line, now leads further out of the city. A one-station extension to the northwest in the Warehouse District is planned for 2009. This station (“Target Field Station & Rail Platform”) is now operational. There is a connection to the Northstar local train heading north/northwest.

Next, the Green Line, formerly known as the Central Corridor, was built, connecting downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Construction on this line began in late 2010, and regular service began in mid-2014. The line is the same as the Hiawatha Line to the Metrodome, but then passes through the University of Minnesota campus, crosses the Mississippi River, and then joins the Along University Avenue through Saint Paul, past the Minnesota State Capitol to downtown Saint Paul.

The extension of the Green Line, originally known as the Southwest Corridor, has been under construction since late 2018. It will head southwest from downtown through uptown and the suburbs of St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Minnetonka to Eden Prairie. As of 2020, commissioning is planned for 2023.

In 2007 a study on the reintroduction of trams was completed. In the following years, up to eight tram lines could run along centrally located streets.

A special urban development feature in Minneapolis are the so-called skyways, kilometers of closed footpaths on the street-side upper floors of the houses with pedestrian bridges over the streets, which enable city-centre errands to be carried out without ever having to go outside. They connect all urban destinations, such as car parks, shops, banks, authorities, restaurants, hotels, etc. and offer protection from the extreme cold in winter as well as from the possible heat in summer.



The city's most famous sports teams include the Minnesota Vikings in the National Football League, the Minnesota Timberwolves in the National Basketball Association, and the Minnesota Twins in the MLB American League. The Minnesota Wild ice hockey team is based in St. Paul.

The first professional sports team was the Minneapolis Millers in minor league baseball. They were based in Minneapolis between 1884 and 1960. In the 1940s to 1950s, the Minneapolis Lakers became the first Minneapolis team to win a title in one of the major American sports leagues. Between 1948 and 1954, the Lakers won a total of six NBA and NBL titles. In 1960 the team left town and relocated to Los Angeles. The American Wrestling Association broke away from the NWA in 1957 and was based in Minneapolis until its closure in 1991.

The Vikings and Twins came to Minnesota in 1961. While the Vikings were an expansion team in the NFL, the Twins were formed when the Washington Senators moved to Minneapolis. Both teams initially played their home games at the Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington. That all changed in 1982 with the opening of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis. With a capacity of up to 64,111 seats, this was the largest sports stadium in Minnesota for a long time. In the Metrodome, the Twins celebrated their greatest success to date when they won the 1987 and 1991 World Series. Since 2010 they have been playing in the newly built Target Field.

For the 2016 season, the Vikings were able to purchase the U.S. Bank Stadium. The construction costs were over a billion dollars, the capacity is up to 73,000 spectators. Super Bowl LII of the 2017-18 NFL season was played here.

With the Timberwolves, Minneapolis received another team in the NBA in 1989. Together with the Minnesota Lynx, founded in 1999, a professional women's basketball team in the WNBA, they play their home games at the Target Center.

The University of Minnesota sports teams are also very popular and have won numerous national titles in the past. The Minnesota Golden Gophers college football team plays their home games at Huntington Bank Stadium, which opened in 2009. This offers space for 50,000 spectators. Ice hockey teams play at Mariucci Arena and Ridder Arena.

The Twin Cities Marathon has been held since 1982, starting in Minneapolis and ending in Saint Paul.

The 8th Special Olympics World Summer Games took place from July 19 to 27, 1991 in Minneapolis and Saint Paul (Minnesota). While the official name was previously International Games, from 1991 the Special Olympics World Summer Games and Special Olympics World Winter Games were spoken of. 6,000 athletes from over 100 (according to another source: 91) countries took part in the games.



Minneapolis is part of Minnesota's fifth congressional district and presents itself in elections mostly as a stronghold of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party (DFL). The City Council (Minneapolis City Council) is made up of 13 representatives of the individual districts (wards). This includes twelve members of the DFL and one member of the Green Party. The Democrat R.T. Rybak was mayor of Minneapolis from 2002 to 2014. He was succeeded by DFL politician Betsy Hodges until 2018. In the run-up to the 2018 election, several deadly police operations took place, the political work-up of which was considered insufficient. She lost to Democratic candidate Jacob Frey.

In addition to Hennepin County, the higher-level administrative units also include the Metropolitan Council, which is responsible for regional affairs in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area.


Personalities related to the city

Daniel Schillock (1826–1878), German attorney and Senator in Minnesota; lived and died in Minneapolis
Eugene McLanahan Wilson (1833–1890), politician; Mayor of Minneapolis
George Dayton (1857–1938), entrepreneur; died in Minneapolis
Clifford D. Simak (1904–1988), journalist and science fiction writer; worked at the Minneapolis Star and the Minneapolis Tribune
Hubert H. Humphrey (1911–1978), politician; Mayor of Minneapolis from 1945 to 1948
Hermann Flender (1918–2004), German diplomat and ambassador; Honorary Citizen of Minneapolis
Jacob Frey (born 1981), politician and mayor of Minneapolis since 2018
Prince Rogers Nelson (1958–2016), singer, composer, songwriter, record producer and actor; born in Minneapolis
Gabriele Grunewald (1986–2019), middle and long-distance runner; lived and died in Minneapolis
George Floyd (1973–2020), citizen; died in Minneapolis in a violent police arrest