Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1607 an English settle named Christopher Newport led an expedition to a site previously inhabited by the Powhatan Indians on the James River, and called it Richmond after the London suburb. It did not become a city until 1742, and in the 135 years inbetween served as little more than a trading post for furs, hides, and tobacoo. In 1782 Richmond became the state capital of Virginia.
Richmond that is one of the oldest American cities, and boasts history that even other cities on the east coast cannot claim. During the Civil War, it served as the capital of the Confederacy, and when the Northern Army invaded Richmond, the city was bombarded and burned to the ground. Though much of its colonial past has idissapeared, it is rich in civil war history and lore. There is, among other things, a Civil war prison on Belle Isle, the house Robert E. Lee lived in, the state Capitol (Which Thomas Jefferson said was inspired by the Maison Carée at Nimes, France) which served as the Confederate Capitol during the war, a museum of the confederacy, a massive civil war graveyard in the heart of the city called Holleywood cematery (in which are buried two US presidents), and more than its fair share of confederate flags. It has the most forged iron outside of New Orleans, and one of the first African American neighboorhoods (Jackson Ward).
Richmond has been called a city of neighboorhoods, each on with a distinct look, flavour, and identity. The Fan, the southside, Jackson Ward, Orgeon Hill, and Churchhill, to name just a few, are recognized by Richmonders as unique neghborhoods, as though the city was a collection of several small towns.
Monument avenue is a famous two lane street lined with, well, monuments. Most of these are dedicated to southern Heros of the civil war (did I mention Richmond has a strong southern Identity?) but also people like Mr. Bojangles, and Arthur Ashe, native of Richmond. Edgar Allen Poe also spent most of his youth in Richmond, and was coming from Richmond when he died.
Richmond is about two hours south of Washingon DC by car, and has two Amtrak serviced train stations.
Places of interes: Belle Isle The historic Down town and Shockoe Slip Maymont Park Byrd Park CareyTown Virginia Fine Arts Mueseum
Websites of interest to tourists: http://www.richmondva.org/ http://www.ci.richmond.va.us/visitor/cixxx_visindex.asp