Connecticut is located in the northeastern United States and is part of the New England region. The state occupies an area of 5,543 square miles, which makes it the third smallest state in the United States. The state has an estimated population of 3.5 million residents. Connecticut has a maritime culture attributed to the Thames River and Connecticut River, both of which pass through the state. While Bridgeport is Connecticut’s most populous city, Hartford is the state capital.
Hartford is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Early inhabitants in the area established settlements on the banks of Connecticut River in the 17th century. The area had fertile black soil suitable for farming. Its population and economy continued to grow, and by 1800 the region was one of the wealthiest places in the country. The city was at the forefront of an industrial revolution in the United States, and as a result it was picked to be the administrative center of Hartford County, as well as the capital city of Connecticut. Although the city encountered various setbacks in the 19th and 20th centuries, its economy and infrastructure continued to grow steadily. Today, Hartford is a financial hub with numerous insurance company headquarters in the city. In fact, it is referred to as the "Insurance capital of the world."
People of Hartford
Hartford has an estimated population of 123,200 people. The population has decreased in recent years, as people have moved to neighboring cities due to an underperforming economy in Hartford. The city accommodates one of the largest communities of Puerto Ricans in the United States. Puerto Ricans make up close to 30 percent of the city’s population. Some famous residents of Hartford include prolific author Mark Twain, anti-slavery campaigner Harriet Beecher Stowe, and the inventor of the automatic pistol, John Browning.
Cultural Significance of Hartford
Hartford is home to some renowned performing art groups. Former in 1934, the Greater Hartford Symphony Orchestra is one such group. The city has many theatres and art centers where artwork is showcased. Additionally, the city hosts large music concerts every year at Bushnell Park. The Hartford Civic Center Coliseum is famous for world-class art performances. Hartford celebrates various annual festivals, such as the First Night Hartford held on New Year’s Eve, the famous Kid'riffic festival for kids, and the Festival of Light held in November. In addition to festivals, the city holds parades to celebrate different occasions like the Greater Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Hooker Day Parade, and the Connecticut Veterans Parade.
Notable Sites in Hartford
One of the most remarkable sites in Hartford is the State Capitol, built in 1879. With its marble walls, high arches, and gold dome, the building is considered an architectural masterpiece. Connecticut’s legislature still meets in the chambers inside the State Capitol. The city houses the oldest sky scraper in New England, the Traveller’s Tower, which was built in 1936. Other popular sites in Hartford include the homes of Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher, which were converted into museums. Visitors to the homes are allowed in all year round.