Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota. It is in the southest of the state, on the opposite side of the Mississippi river to the state capital, St Paul. The two cities together are known as the Twin Cities. Minneapolis takes its name from the Dakota word for water ('minne') and the Greek word for city ('polis').
Minneapolis grew up around the Falls of St Anthony, which were the highest falls on the Mississippi and the end of the commercially navigable section of the river. The area was originally explored (by Europeans) and named by Father Louis Hennepin in 1680, who gave his name to the county in which Minneapolis is located. The nearby Fort Snelling spurred the growth of the villages of Minneapolis and St Anthony around the falls in the 1840s. Minneapolis became a city in 1867, and merged with St Anthony in 1872.
The city's economy grew around the processing of grain from the Great Plains, which is reflected by the presence of companies such as General Mills and Pillsbury in the city. More recently the city has become noteable for its medical and financial industries, as well as the largest shopping mall in the United States, the Mall of America.
Along with St Paul, Minneapolis claims to have the highest per capita attendance at theater and arts events outside of New York, perhaps boosted by its famously harsh winters. A system of skyways links buildings in the downtown region, providing a way to travel around the city without being exposed to the cold.