Charleston is a historic seaport city in South Carolina. Its historic downtown is on a peninsula formed by two rivers, Ashley and Cooper, flowing into the Atlantic, and protected from the open ocean by surrounding islands.
Charleston didn't sustain much damage during the Civil War, so the historic part of town has buildings that are hundreds of years old. The current downtown skyline is dominated by church steeples and the stunning Arthur Ravenel cable-stay bridge over the Cooper River. Becuase of city ordinances, you won't find the tall buildings typical of many other major cities.
The city is a major port on the eastern seaboard and is also a popular destination for domestic and international tourists.
"Charles Towne," as it was first called, was established in 1670 by Anthony Ashley Cooper on the west bank of the Ashley River, Charles Towne Landing, a few miles northwest of the present downtown. Charleston was the first city in the U.S. to pass a historical preservation ordinance. Thus, much of it's beautiful architecture remains for generations to see and enjoy.
Charleston is also known as The Holy City due to the numerous church steeples, and the fact that it was one of the few places in the original colonies to provide religious tolerance to the French Huguenots and Jews.
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