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USA, Chicago

While the city was officially incorporated in 1837, the history of Chicago as a settlement and hub goes further back. In 1781 Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, an African American from Santo Domingo made Chicago’s north bank by the mouth of the Chicago river a permanent settlement. He opened a fur-trading post in Chicago. His site was later chosen to build Fort Dearborn. The word “Chicago” comes from the Great Lakes tribe Algonquian, and means wild onion or garlic.

Chicago continued to grow and flourish. However , in 87, disaster struck in te form of a major fire that destroyed almost every building and structure in the city. This is known as the Great Chicago. The fire destroyed about 17450 buildings. However, within 2 months after the city was left in ashes, more than 300 buildings had already begun. And a few short years later, Chicago hosted the famous 1893 World Columbian Exposition, commemorating the discovery by Columbus of America 400 years ago.

Daniel Burnham designed the city in his 1909 Chicago plan.

The first skyscraper went up in 1885: the Home Insurance Building. It stood 180 feet and 11 stories tall and was built by William Le Baron Jenney, called the father of American skyscrapers. Interestingly, Daniel Burnham was the chief architect for New York’s skyscraper, the Flatiron building.

Chicago has one of nation's cleanest, greenest and a beautiful, scenic downtown area along the Lake Michigan. It has a festive pier and a spectacular sounding outdoor theater where all summer long, you can hear--for free--world class musicians and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra--and enjoy Frank Geary's criss-crossing cylindrical beams that spread an amazing high-fidelity sound.

Boat ride along the lake Michigan and the Chicago River are another enjoyable tourist pastime.

All in all, like many famous European cities, Chicago is very friendly to walkers. So briskwalk away!

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