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Saint Paul is the second largest city in Minnesota, by population, and the state capital. It is also the governmental seat of Ramsey County, the smallest and most densely populated county in the state.

It is bordered largely by the Mississippi River to the west, southwest, and southeast, although a portion of the city extends south of the river just east of the center.

The city is abutted by South Saint Paul and West Saint Paul to the south, and separated from Lilydale, Mendota, and Mendota Heights by the river. Minneapolis is west, Maplewood is east, and Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Maplewood, and Roseville are north, although a portion of Maplewood is east of Saint Paul.

The larger lakes within the city include Pig's Eye Lake, which is a wide spot on the Mississippi, Lake Phalen, and Lake Como. Others are Beaver Lake, Crosby Lake, Loeb Lake, and some smaller bodies of water.

The city maintains a hundred and sixty parks and forty-one recreation centers, many of which are along the river or around its lakes, river islands, and peninsulas.

For governmental purposes, the city is divided into seventeen planning districts, representing its traditional neighborhoods. These are Como Park, Dayton's Bluff, Downtown, Greater East Side, Hamline-Midway, Highland Park, Thomas Dale (Frogtown), Macalester-Groveland, North End, Payne-Phalen, Saint Anthony Park, Summit Hill, Summit-University, Sunray-Battle Creek-Highwood, Union Park, West End, and West Side.

Saint Paul is home to several professional, semi-professional, and amateur sports teams, including the Minnesota Wild, a professional ice hockey team in the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League. The St. Paul Saints are a professional baseball team in the North Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, not affiliated with Major League Baseball. The Minnesota Twin Stars is in the National Premier Soccer League. Minnesota United FC is a professional soccer club in the Western Conference of Major League Soccer. The Minnesota Whitecaps are a professional women's ice hockey team in the National Women's Hockey League.

From burial mounds, some of which are still present in Indian Mounds Park, it is surmised that the area was originally inhabited by the Hopewell Native Americans about two thousand years ago. When the first white explorers and settlers came into the area, the Mdewakanton Dakota were there.

After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, Zebulon Pike purchased 100,000 acres from the Dakota tribes. Fort Snelling was built at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, just southwest of the Saint Paul boundaries.

When the military banned settlers from the lands controlled by the fort, Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant set up a tavern, the Pig's Eye, near Lambert's Landing, at what is now the Port of Saint Paul. The settlement that grew up around the tavern became known as Pig's Eye, which could be considered the first name for what later became Saint Paul.

In 1841, Father Lucien Galtier established a chapel for the Catholic French Canadians who were living there, which he named Saint Paul the Apostle. In 1847, a school opened.

When the Minnesota Territory was created in 1849, the new town was designated as its capital, only they chose Saint Paul over Pig's Eye as the name for the capital city. In 1858, Minnesota became a state, and Saint Paul was its capital.

That year, more than a thousand steamboats were in service at Saint Paul, as it had become a gateway to the Minnesota frontier and the Dakota Territory, it being the last accessible point where boats could be unloaded due to the stone bluffs of the Mississippi River.

James J. Hill expanded his network of railroads into the Great Northern Railway and Northern Pacific Railway, both of which were headquartered in Saint Paul. Today they are part of the BNSF Railway.

By the 1970s and 1980s, Saint Paul's downtown district had become dominated by skyscrapers, the tallest of which were built in the 1980s.

Demographically, most Saint Paulites identify as Christian, and they are split between Roman Catholicism and various forms of Protestantism. However, there are also Jewish synagogues and populations of Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists, as well as a smaller group of Wiccans.

At the time of the 2000 census, the racial makeup of the city was 67% White, 12.4% Asian, 11.7% African-American, 1.1% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 7.7% from other races.

The focus of this guide is on the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Websites representing municipal, county, state, or federal agencies located in Saint Paul are appropriate for this category, as are those of any church or religious ministry, school, industry, business, organization, or individual within the city.


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