Posted in: Living Posted on: Mar 31st, 2016

An Introduction to Richmond, Virginia

The capital of Virginia, Richmond exudes refined Southern charm set amid a picturesque montage of redbrick row houses and lush parkland. Known as the “River City,” the heart of the “Old Dominion” is a vibrant metropolis featuring a hip food and music scene, fascinating neighborhoods, and a wide variety of attractions.

History

Situated on the site of a significant village within the Powhatan Confederacy, Richmond was founded in 1737. It became the capital of Virginia 43 years later. During the Revolution, the city’s St. John’s Church was the setting for Patrick Henry’s famous speech that included the line, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Thomas Jefferson designed the capitol building, which was completed in 1788. The city served as the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. After the war, Richmond rose to become a vibrant center of government, law, education, and finance. In addition to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, the city serves as the headquarters for several Fortune 500 companies and is also home to Virginia Commonwealth University.

Geography

Richmond is located in Virginia’s Piedmont region at the fall line, or highest navigable point, of the James River. The Piedmont area features low, rolling hills that connect the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west with the coastal plain of the Tidewater region to the east. Historic neighborhoods in Richmond are located in the North Side, South Side, West End and East End, areas named for their relationship to the river and downtown. The city’s humid subtropical climate produces humid summers with highs in the upper 80s and cool winters with lows just below freezing.

Local Museums

Many of Richmond’s museums are located on or near the Boulevard in an area called the Museum District. These cultural institutions include the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Science Museum of Virginia, and the Children’s Museum of Richmond. While downtown is the setting for the Valentine Richmond History Center, the city also hosts the Old Dominion Railway Museum and the Virginia Holocaust Museum. The Richmond National Battlefield Park and the American Civil War Center are housed in the historic Tredegar Iron Works buildings. The Museum of the Confederacy and White House of the Confederacy are located near the capitol. Monument Avenue features numerous statues, including those of General Robert E. Lee and tennis legend Arthur Ashe, a Richmond native.

Natural Beauty

Richmond has more than 40 outdoor recreational areas covering over 1,500 acres. These include scenic riverside walking, biking, and nature trails along with running tracks, exercise stations and rock climbing venues. There are also several public dog parks. The 80-acre Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden features a rose garden, a glass conservatory, and a mediation garden as well as a children’s garden. Byrd Park has playgrounds, a lighted fountain, and three small lakes for boating. It is the setting for the 56-bell World War I Memorial Carillon and the Dogwood Dell Amphitheater, which hosts summer concerts. Maymont is a historic 100-acre estate that is home to gardens, an arboretum, a nature center, and a children’s farm.

Featuring a variety of amenities, apartments in Richmond are located throughout the city. Along with employment centers, many are within walking distance of shops, restaurants, parks, and all of the cultural attractions the Old Dominion has to offer.