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Porciúncula, Gold Coast
Porciúncula, Costa del Oro (es)
Porciúncula, Côte-d'Or (fr)
波尔西温库拉, 黃金海岸 (zh)
波尔西温库, 黃金海岸拉 (tn)
Phốt Xi-cứ-là, Bờ Biển Vàng (vn)
포르시운구라, 황금의 연안 (kr)
ポシクラ市, ゴールド・コースト (ja)
Portiuncula, Goldküste (de)
Capital city
Special City-District and County of Porciúncula
Los Angeles skyline
Hollywood Sign
Griffith Observatory
Los Angeles City Hall
Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport
Vincent Thomas Bridge
Venice Beach
Flag of Porciúncula, Gold Coast Porciúncula, Costa del Oro (es) Porciúncula, Côte-d'Or (fr) 波尔西温库拉, 黃金海岸 (zh) 波尔西温库, 黃金海岸拉 (tn) Phốt Xi-cứ-là, Bờ Biển Vàng (vn) 포르시운구라, 황금의 연안 (kr) ポシクラ市, ゴールド・コースト (ja) Portiuncula, Goldküste (de)
Official seal of Porciúncula, Gold Coast Porciúncula, Costa del Oro (es) Porciúncula, Côte-d'Or (fr) 波尔西温库拉, 黃金海岸 (zh) 波尔西温库, 黃金海岸拉 (tn) Phốt Xi-cứ-là, Bờ Biển Vàng (vn) 포르시운구라, 황금의 연안 (kr) ポシクラ市, ゴールド・コースト (ja) Portiuncula, Goldküste (de)
Nickname(s): "The City of Angels", "L.A.", "Los Angeles", "Porci", "Porcy", "La-la-land", "Porchunk"
Motto(s): "The Gateway to the Pacific"
Location of Porciúncula in relation to Porciúncula County and the Gold Coast
Location of Porciúncula in relation to Porciúncula County and the Gold Coast
Sovereign state  Kingdom of Sierra
Country  Sierra
Province  Gold Coast
County Porciúncula
Barony List of baronies
Foundation September 4, 1781
Founded by Felipe de Neve
 • Type Mayor–Council–Commission
 • Mayor Jose Maria Morelos (D-R)
 • Count Count Alfonso, 7th Count of Porciúncula
 • Total 1,302 km2 (503 sq mi)
 • Land 1,214 km2 (469 sq mi)
 • Water 88 km2 (33 sq mi)  6.7%
Elevation 71 m (233 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 6,393,021
 • Estimate (2014) 6,421,220
Demonym(s) Porciúnculano
Time zone Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
ZIP codes
Call codes 200, 201, 312, 404
Primary airport Porciúncula International Airport
Major freeways Interprovincial 1 (Gold Coast).svg Interprovincial 2 (Gold Coast).svg
Commuter rail LA Metro.svg
Website la.gc.ks
Porciúncula, formally known as the Special City-District and County of Porciúncula, and commonly referred to by its initials, L.A. due to its historic name as Los Angeles or as Porcy, is the administrative capital of the Kingdom of Sierra, the country of Sierra, and the province of the Gold Coast. It has been the capital of the Kingdom of Sierra since 1868, when the government and the Crown relocated from San Francisco City. It is the only consolidated city-county in the Gold Coast, and it is the largest of the province's six counties. With over 6 million residents, Porciúncula is Sierra's most populous city and boasts one of the most multicultural areas in the world. With a land area of 503 square miles, Porciúncula is located entirely within the Porciúncula Basin along the southwestern coastlines of Sierra, and is the center of the densely-populated Greater Porciúncula Area, and the even larger Southwest Corridor, one of the world's largest urban areas. The Greater Porciúncula Area consists of several large satellite cities, and numerous bedroom communities, which are intrinsically linked to Porciúncula economically, culturally, and politically. The Greater Porciúncula Area had a population of 26,939,089 in 2016, making it the 4th largest urban area in the world. In 2014, Porciúncula proper had a GDP of $1 trillion, or roughly one-fifth of the Kingdom's national GDP, making it the world's third wealthiest city after Tokyo and New York City.

Founded as a pueblo (small town) in September 4, 1781 by the Spanish governor, Felipe de Neve, the city became part of Mexico following the Mexican War of Independence and later the California Republic following the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. Porciúncula became part of the Kingdom of Sierra after the Californian adoption of the Constitution of 1858 and later the Kingdom's capital in 1868. Following an agreement between the provincial government of the Gold Coast and the federal government, as well as a constitutional modification, Porciúncula became the seat of power for both entities with federally-specific designated areas exempt from local jurisdiction. During the early 20th century, Porciúncula experienced drastic transformation in size, population, and economic power after petroleum was discovered in the area and it was linked to Eastern Anglo-America by transcontinental railroads. The development of Hollywood and further diversification of Porciúncula's economy propelled the city forward as the preeminent cultural, social, and economic center of Western North America. It became a hotbed of the Sierran Cultural Revolution as it hosted one of the country's most ethnically and linguistically diverse communities, and attracted millions of immigrants.

Porciúncula is considered one of the world's leading global cities and is listed as an alpha+ city due to its great importance to the global market and is the primary economic center of southern Sierra. It is home to the Porciúncula Stock Exchange and over 40 of the Fortune Global 500 listed companies, and controls the Port of Porciúncula, which together with the Grands Ballons and the Port of Little Gibraltar, form the 7th busiest container port in the world by cargo tonnage. Along with business, Porciúncula leads the world in culture, education, entertainment, international trade, medicine, science, shopping, sports, and technology. In addition, Porciúncula has hosted the 1932, 1984 Summer Olympics, and the 2011 CAS Games, and dozens of other international sporting events. The Hollywood district is eponymous to cinema, television, and music and has been regarded as the "Entertainment Capital of the World". The city's infrastructure has underwent several periods of massive renovation and technological improvement over the course of its 200 plus years of existence. With one of the world's most famous and extensive system of freeways, roads, light rails, and monorails, Porciúncula will feature the world's first hyperloop system by 2022. After the recent 2017 Pawnee earthquake, Porciúncula is currently undergoing massive renovation and repairs to its infrastructure and transportation. In 2017, it received over 53 million visitors, of which nearly half (20 million) were international visitors, with most originating from countries in Anglo-America, East Asia, and Europe, making it one of the world's most visited and top earning cities in tourism.

Since 1996, Porciúncula's borders have been the same as those of Porciúncula County, after a city-county merger. Despite the merger, the term "Porciúncula County" remains in common use, especially when referring to the incorporated cities within the county that are outside the "balance" which makes up Porciúncula proper. The "balance" constitutes over half of the city-county's population and area.

All three branches of the Sierran federal government including the Parliament, the Crown (Occidental Palace), the Prime Minister (Getty House), and the Supreme Court are all located and operated in Porciúncula. The Parliament Building, the Supreme Court Building, and the buildings of various ministries, agencies, and federal facilities are located in the downtown area known as the National Mall. Porciúncula hosts over 160 embassies as well as the headquarters of dozens of international organizations and major offices of the Conference of American States. Dually functioning as the national capital and the provincial capital of the Gold Coast, all three branches of the subservient province including the Provincial Legislature, governor, and Provincial Supreme Court are located in the city. The city also houses the county offices for the County of Porciúncula and its associated government bodies.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The name Porciúncula is the Hispanicized rendition of the Italian name, Porziuncola. The first known instance of the use of the name in reference to the city appeared in a journal entry made by Spanish Captain Fernando Rivera y Moncado. Rivera was exploring the Porciúncula area with Father Juan Crespí, a Franciscan priest. The captain's expedition team came across the Porciúncula River and called it a "beautiful river from the northwest" located at "34 degrees 10 minutes." The river was named Nuestra Señora de Porciúncula de la Porciúncula (Spanish: Our Lady of the Angels at the Porziuncola [Little Portion]) in honor of the Perdono, a Franciscan feast, that was taking place at the time. According to tradition, the Benedictines gave St. Francis of Assisi (who is also the patron saint of the city and the Kingdom) a small chapel for his ministry. Later on, the chapel decayed and was in need of repair. Within this chapel, a wall with a fresco mural contained images of the Virgin Mary surrounded by heavenly angels. Following the establishment of the Porciúncula settlement, the name Porciúncula came to be associated with both the river originally named and the town itself. The less commonly used name "Los Angeles" was also derived from Rivera's original name, and was also in common usage during the Spanish colonial period before Porciúncula won out in favor.

In everyday conversations, Sierrans, including residents of Porciúncula themselves, generally refer to the city as "L.A." (in the written form, it can be either "L.A." or "LA"), or "Porcy" (also written as "Porci", and less commonly as "Porsi"). Most Sierrans do not pronounce the city's full name in its original Spanish form ([poɾˈθjuŋkula]; POR-see-un-koo-LAH), but rather as either (/pɔ́rsíkúlá/; POR-sa-koo-lah), or (/pɔ́rsə́kúlá/; POR-suh-koo-lah).

History[edit | edit source]

Historical affiliations
Flag of Cross of Burgundy.svg Spanish Empire 1777–1821

Bandera del Primer Imperio Mexicano.svg First Mexican Empire 1821–1823
Bandera de la Primera República Federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos.svg Mexico 1823–1848
1stBearFlag.svg California Republic 1848–1858
Flag of Sierra.svg Kingdom of Sierra 1858–present

Spanish colonial period[edit | edit source]

The earliest evidence of human settlement in Porciúncula dates back as early as 8000 BC. By 3000 BC, the Tongva people migrated from the Great Basin to the Porciúncula area and settled there permanently after suffering an extended drought from their homeland. Various other Amerindian communities existed during the precolonial period in Porciúncula, many of whom lived as seafarers, artisans, and merchants. By the time the Spanish arrived to the region, as much as 5,000 natives lived in the Porciúncula Basin. After the Spanish arrived, the Tongva became known by their Spanish names: the Gabrielinos and Fernandeños, which were based on the Spanish mission they were associated with.

The statue of Felipe de Neve, the governor of Las Californias and founder of Porciúncula, located at the City Plaza.

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and Sebastián Vizcaíno were the first Europeans to reach and explore the Porciúncula Basin in 1542 and 1602. Although the former declared Porciúncula and the rest of southwestern Sierra to be Spanish territory, there were no further European intrusions of the area until the arrival of the Franciscan friar, Junípero Serra in 1771. Establishing the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the mission was among the first of the 21 sites Serra and his expedition established throughout Sierra. In 1777, the governor of Las Californias Felipe de Neve toured the Spanish territory with the responsibility of selecting sites and establishing civil towns (pueblos) to accommodate Spanish military posts (presidios). Among the pueblos de Neve established included Porciúncula. The first Spanish settlers (44 in all; 22 adults and 22 children) to arrive to new town of Porciúncula became known as the Pobladores (the "townspeople").

Porciúncula was one of several communities established in the region. Other communities included Grands Ballons (known then as Bola Grande) and Little Gibraltar, both of which traded and interacted frequently with the townspeople of Porciúncula in the local economy. The city's population grew significantly following the purported appearance of Our Lady of Catalina, a Marian apparition that appeared over the Santa Barbara Channel between the Channel Islands and the Porciúncula Basin. French and Spanish witnesses quickly spread their accounts of the event before colonial officials, and within 5 years, stories of the event sparked renewed interest from Spain to invest more energy, resources, and attention towards the region. The Spanish Crown began awarding large parcels of land to Spanish soldiers and civilians in Porciúncula in order to encourage further settlement and development in the area.

Mexican and Californian period[edit | edit source]

Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, then part of Porciúncula (now part of San Gabriel) became secularized in 1833

Following Mexico's independence from Mexico, economic activity flourished in Porciúncula as more and more civilians moved into the city. No longer subjected to the rule of a king, the locals had a newly instilled sense of democratic fellowship and fraternity among each other. As agriculture and cattle ranching endeavors expanded, the city's political culture matured. Local utilities and irrigation projects commenced to meet the increasing demands of the growing population. Through an act of the Mexican Congress in 1833, all former Spanish missions were secularized and open for sale to the public. The Mexican government auctioned off land at cheap prices and even awarded land grants to loyal supporters in some instances. The largest grant was awarded to Francisco Sepúlveda, who gained over 33,000 acres of land. Much of this land lies in what is now known as Porciúncula's Westside. The early development of the city was made possible through the use of conscripted Amerindian labor. The Zanja Madre, a water system built of canals and ditches, was developed to meet the growing city's water demands.

In 1835, the Mexican Congress officially declared Porciúncula as a city and designated it as the capital of Alta California. The official status of the city heightened the importance of the city in the region and brought additional investment and emigration into the city.

The city benefited from trade with the nearby Channel Islands, settlements in the Southwest Corridor, and couriers from other parts of Mexico. The vaquero culture of cattle ranchers and farmhands also emerged in Porciúncula, as ranchos were built in the surrounding areas of the city. The city's economy diversified. A prominent example was the arrival of the Frenchman Jean-Louis Vignes, whose vineyard, El Aliso, became renowned for its wine and grapes, and was the largest in the region by 1849. The emergent cosmopolitan nature of Porciúncula attracted thousands of settlers to the city. By 1847, there were over a thousand Anglo-American immigrants, a quarter-thousand Europeans, and several hundred African American freedmen and Creoles who inhabited the city.

Following the outbreak of the Mexican-American War and growing tensions within the Californian region, Porciúncula was captured by rebelling Californios. The local Mexican authorities were deposed and administration fell into the hands of trusted advisers loyal to the Californian cause. Pushing out any chances of Mexican capture, Treaty of Cahuenga was signed to signify the termination of hostilities within the region. After the conclusion of the war and the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago, Porciúncula became officially part of the now-independent California Republic.

Drawing depicting a section of Porciúncula, ca.1847–49

During the ten years of Californian administration, Porciúncula underwent legal and property reforms including re-surveying the land under Californian terms. Although Porciúncula would not become one of the various capital cities of the Republic, it remained a politically relevant city. Interest in the continued expansion of the city led to new city planning projects and designs that were put into place. One of the first major acts involved the changing of street names from Spanish to English. Under Californian property law, land acquired and held under Mexican law was voided and transferred to the Californian government. Lands owned by the city were held to be disposable under Californian law and the Californian National Congress declared that any land not officially registered within city limits on official maps were sellable by private owners. New surveys and cartographic mappings of the city were made to assist in new city planning. The new plans were a boon for the burgeoning real estate industry as developers sought the rights to build on government-owned lands.

Most streets and neighborhoods were renamed from Spanish to English and a new civic center was established further south from the original city center. The development of neighborhoods further on the outskirts of the existing city limits laid the groundwork for Porciúncula's future suburban neighborhoods.

Although Northern California experienced the most activity surrounding the California Gold Rush, Southern California and Porciúncula also attracted gold prospectors and other foreign arrivals. The city became an important center for cattle ranching and beef production, supplying meat and leather to consumer demand in the North. The surrounding vicinity was locally known as a cow country, while the city itself was affectionately named the "Queen City of Cow Countries".

Like much of the rest of California, the city struggled with lawlessness and crime. Resources were poorly allocated to law enforcement, leading to private citizens forming their own vigilante groups or militias to maintain public order and security. Lacking the support from San Francisco City, the city government in Porciúncula resorted to informal partnerships with established vigilante groups to carry out municipal law and protecting the city. Corruption became rampant and the city was referred to as the "toughest and most lawless city west of Santa Fe". A red light district formed in the southern part of the city where gamblers, prostitutes, outlaws, and other social outcasts congregated, contributing to the national perception of recklessness and vice associated with the developing city.

Mob violence, riots, and lynchings were commonplace in Porciúncula, and was typically racially-charged. Tensions between Anglophones and Spanish speakers were longstanding. Resistant to the new administration, some Californios partook in anti-government activity and banditry. Juan Flores was a prominent bandit who led raids against ranches, towns, and travelers. Flores and his gang were responsible for dozens of armed robberies, murders, and thefts in the city. Following his arrest and subsequent execution, Flores became a legendary figure among Mexican Sierrans while his legacy was vilified among Anglo-Americans and negatively colored their perceptions of the Mexican community for decades. Frustrated with poor law enforcement and rampant criminal activity, vigilant committees continued to grow in membership. By the mid-1850s, the homicide rate in Porciúncula reached nearly 13 murders a year or 158 per 100,000 people. The extent of crime and vigilant justice in the city were one of the key factors that led to increased calls to reform the Californian government, which was widely criticized at the time for its apparent "sheer incompetence".

The indigenous Amerindians who had inhabited the region for centuries, and had come under Spanish subjugation, were also subject to violence and marginalization by the Anglo-American population. Under the Californian constitution, Amerindians were explicitly barred from citizenship, despite being required by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. As such, the Amerindians lacked any form of protections as non-citizens and their property were thus freely seized by the Anglo-American community and government. Many were driven out of their homes and forced to work at ranches or other places of establishment for little to no pay, akin to slavery.

Late 19th century[edit | edit source]

Although Northern California played a greater role in dictating the direction of the Constitutional Convention of 1857, the residents of Porciúncula were generally in favor of government restructuring. Unlike Northern California, the debate between monarchism and republicanism was met with general ambivalence in Southern California, including the city. City officials were more interested in the practicalities of a more centralized government and viewed the Kingdom as a step forward towards a more competent government. After the creation of the Kingdom of Sierra, Porciúncula was advertised as a haven for Spanish-speaking citizens and poor Anglo-American settlers seeking for job opportunities, despite its contemporaneous record of mistreatment and racism. Ideal weather conditions, proximity to the coast, and fertile soil were all selling points to prospective inhabitants. Local businessmen and developers envisioned a growing city that would compete with San Francisco City. Plans were made to create an official port, a new railway terminal, larger banks, more factories, hotels, and irrigated parks.

With increased funding and better management by the new Sierran government, the city quickly grew from a population of 10,000 to well over a million by the 1870s. Coinciding a period of booming prosperity in Sierra, Porciúncula saw a new wave of American East Coast entrepreneurs and investors who recognized the potential for developing the city. With more public sector jobs available in the Porciúncula area and policymakers now in the region, investors and businessmen took advantage of the new, favorable economic conditions the city offered.

The city was linked with its first railroad in 1863, connecting Porciúncula with Santa Barbara which in turn, connected San Francisco City. Porciúncula continued to experience rapid development as the Sierran government sought to make the city a "worthy and enviable" capital.

In 1868, the Sierran government made a decision to relocate its seat and capital from San Francisco City to Porciúncula, following a massive fire that devastated a significant portion of town in the former, including the Old Parliament Building. Parliament relocated into the new Parliament Building, where construction was completed in 1863 and had been used as the temporary seat of the city government. The Sierran Royal Family also moved into the city, initially residing at the Latham Palace, which remained the official royal residence until the Occidental Palace was completed in 1880. The drastic geographic move shifted the balance of power between Northern and Southern Sierra, and was met with welcome excitement in Porciúncula, and engendered greater resentment and derision by the Styxie.

View of Bunker Hill from Olive Street in 1893

As the population continued to grow and the city's central relevancy to the emerging Kingdom grew, Porciúncula became an industrial city as its city planning focused on expanding its city limits constantly and rapidly. The vast availability of land encouraged horizontal rather than vertical development, and Parliament passed an Act of Parliament that imposed a citywide height restriction on buildings, which would remain in place for nearly half a century, shaping the city's modern skyline and cityscape. Pollution became a major issue in the city due to the rapid growth, emphasis on industrialization, and the local geography. Efforts to curb air pollution were met with opposition by industrialists and manufacturing businesses, resulting in one of the worst cases of pollution in North America for decades as anti-pollution measures stalled.

Drawing of Downtown Porciúncula from Plaza to Third Street in 1894

During the Sierran Civil War, Porciúncula was under threat of a potential takeover by the Republicans who on multiple occasions between 1874 and 1876, attempted to forcefully seize control of the city. In addition, Porciúncula was the chief target of the Second California Republic's troops under the orders of Senator Isaiah Landon, with the city narrowly escaping conflict when Monarchist forces halted and reversed Republican advances in Tejon Pass, 70 miles north of the city proper.

In 1874, the Port of Porciúncula was moved further south from its original site near Bridgeport Beach, away from the city limits, prompting lawmakers to expand the borders by incorporating what is now known as the city of Grands Ballons. This change coincided with increased railroad construction in the city, as the Royal Pacific and Southern Pacific Company made inroads with the city, improving connections between the city and the North American East Coast.

In 1876, the Pacific Coast Stock and Bonds Exchange, the predecessor to the modern-day Porciúncula Stock Exchange, began operations at Porciúncula's Bunker Hill neighborhood. This neighborhood evolved to become the city's financial center and central business district, as banks and other financial institutions began to base their activities and facilities in this area. The Farmers and Merchants Bank of Porciúncula was the first major incorporated bank in the city. The central business district was distinguished at the time by its widespread use of Victorian architecture, with brightly colored, terraced homes and large brick buildings reminiscent of those in London and elsewhere in the British Empire.

During the 1880s and 1890s, Porciúncula's railroad and streetcar system continued to expand at a rapid rate. Initially beginning with horsecars, the cable car was introduced in 1885 and then the electric streetcar soon followed in 1887. Over 1,000 miles of tracks connected the city's neighborhoods and other cities such as Riverside, San Bernardino, St. Anne, and Newport Beach.

In 1892, Edward L. Doheny discovered oil near the present location of the Princes Stadium. Doheny's discovery caught the attention across the nation and worldwide as it attracted opportunistic investors and entrepreneurs to the city. Several oil fields were exploited, including the Porciúncula Westlake–Vermont Oil Field, which was acquired by the Crown and leased to oil companies for use. The oil industry in Porciúncula, becoming one of the centers of oil production in North America, and producing as much as one-quarter of the entire world's oil supply during its peak production.

Early 20th century[edit | edit source]

With the discovery of oil in the vicinity, the city became an increasingly attractive site for immigrants from the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Asia. More railroads were established connecting neighborhoods and the city to feeder cities and farming areas were converted into housing tracts in an effort to accommodate the exploding demographics. It was this immigration that fast-tracked the growth of Porciúncula which found itself in dire need of additional resources and housing. Porciúncula also emerged as an international trade center, serving as a link between Asia and North America, hence eventually earning its reputed name and motto, "Gateway to the Pacific" not dissimilar to the claim rival San Francisco City asserted.

In 1901, the Gold Coast parliament passed a law granting Porciúncula charter city status, and the act was reaffirmed by the national parliament which declared that the new status had no effect on the city's service as the seat of government. The move would allow the city to exercise more autonomy in relation to the rest of the province and to introduce policies that would only affect the capital. Immediately following this time, the Porciúncula Water Authority District was formed as were other institutions charged with managing intercity affairs and utilities.

A 1920 photograph depicting city life in Porciúncula.

Increased federal spending gave rise to improved government facilities and monuments. With private economic activity flourishing, the national government found it necessary to refurbish its aging buildings. The Parliament Building was renovated and had additional annexes installed; the Supreme Court building received significant changes to its internal layout; and the Getty Oil company constructed and sold the Getty House to the government for the purpose of housing the prime minister.

Porciúncula experienced yet another spur of economic growth during the 1920s. The district of Hollywood became the ideal center for motion picture filming and acting. Originally a city established in 1903, in 1919, the city merged into Porciúncula, propelling the capital towards exponential growth. Between the 1920s and 1930s, the city of Porciúncula annexed several unincorporated communities and towns, putting the city to a total area of 450 square miles in 1932.

Later 20th century and 21st century[edit | edit source]

During both great wars, the economy of Porciúncula benefited greatly from its factories and manufacturing centers. While the city's economy was bustling, organized crime was on the rise with the arrival of criminal syndicates from abroad including the Sierran Mafia. Fears of corruption within local law enforcement forced Parliament to establish a rigorous investigative inquiry on officers and administration in the 1940s. Balancing accusations of corruption and police brutality, the office of Porciúncula Police Department chief was reshuffled eight times due to ineffective leadership and corruption charges.

Real estate development became the primary powerhouse in the city's powerhouse following Great War I. The Porciúncula International Airport (PorciúnculaX or LAX) and several other airports were established in 1949 to reflect the modernization of the city. In 1950s, the foundation of Porciúncula' prolific freeway system was laid near the San Fernando Valley. Rapid urbanization and sprawl led to chronic air pollution in the 1970s which forced the city to pass some of the nation's strictest air quality regulations to combat the problem.

By the 1990s, Porciúncula became an established economic center for companies, jobs, and industry. The cost of life increased considerably and for the first time in a century, population growth dipped below 5% as more people began moving out to the suburbs and other towns.

Geography[edit | edit source]

See also: Porciúncula Basin, San Fernando Valley, Greater Porciúncula Area, and Gold Coast

Cityscape[edit | edit source]

Panorama of Porciúncula and vicinity from east (left) to west (right).

Nearly all 503 square miles of the city is formally divided into nine different wards (Downtown, Eastside, Arroyo Seco, South Porciúncula, the Harbor Area, Greater Hollywood, Westside, and the San Fernando-Crescenta Valleys) including over 80 distinct neighborhoods and districts. A small strip of land around Griffith Park is not directly controlled by the ward and instead, by the city government itself.

Landmarks[edit | edit source]

Significant landmarks throughout the city include the Occidental Palace, the Parliament Building, the Griffith Observatory, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Sign, Angels Flight, the Kodak Theater, the Porciúncula Riverwalk, Getty Center and House, the Porciúncula Memorial Coliseum, the Porciúncula Zoo, the Staples Center, the Watts Tower, the La Brea Tar Pits, the HRHS Rose of Sharon, the Grauman's Chinese Theater, and the Porciúncula Stock Exchange Center.

Topography[edit | edit source]

The city's topography is varied with parts of it flat and others hilly. The highest point in the city is 5,074 ft (1,547 m) at Mount Lukens in the San Fernando Valley. The eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains defines much of the city's northern limits and separates the region from the San Fernando Valley.

A significant portion of the city including the downtown area is located within the Porciúncula Basin, a coastal sediment plain surrounded by coastal and inland mountain ranges. The Porciúncula River, the city's main drainage channel, starts in the Simi Hills near the Santa Susana Mountains, flows southward through the city and exits through its mouth outside the city limits at the Port of Porciúncula in Grands Ballons.

Geology[edit | edit source]

The San Andres Fault, a major fault line that affects Porciúncula and the region.

Porciúncula and the surrounding region are subject to frequent earthquakes due to Sierra's location along the Pacific Ring of Fire. The most prominent fault affecting the city's earthquake activity is the San Andreas Fault, which divides the Pacific and North American Plates and sprawls across the Sierran nation, passing San Francisco City. The fault itself however, does not run through city limits although minor faults do exist within the city proper.

The most recent major earthquake to have hit the city was the 1994 Northridge earthquake, measuring 6.7 on the magnitude scale. Nearly 60 were killed and thousands more were injured and damages totaled to $20 billion. Earthquakes have shaped the city and region's politics from building codes to budget disputes in an effort to mitigate the costs incurred by such destructive earthquakes. Currently, scientists and meteorologists project that the city and vicinity is at risk of a "big one". Parts of the city, particularly the lower-lying coastal regions are at risk of tsunamis in the event of an earthquake.

Climate[edit | edit source]

Porciúncula has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb on the coast and Csa inland). The city and surrounding region is characterized by warm or hot summers and mild, cool winters. Precipitation generally occurs during the winter and spring. Overall, the city annually receives only 35 days of rain with the rest of the days mostly sunny. There are extreme variations in temperature throughout the city. Along the coast, temperatures are generally cooler while inland, mountainous regions are warmer. Snow is exceptionally rare except in the mountains where most occur during the winter months of December and January. Like the rest of the region, the city is subject to local weather phenomena from June Gloom to the notorious Santa Ana Winds.

Demographics[edit | edit source]

The most populous city in Sierra, in 2010, the Sierra Royal Bureau of Census officially counted 8,393,021 people living in Porciúncula. Over 75% of citizens living in the Gold Coast province lives in Porciúncula. The population density was 16,685.92 people per square mile (6446.253/km²). The age distribution was 2,098,255 (25%) under 18; 923,232 from 18 to 24 (11%); 2,685,766 (32%) from 25 to 44; 1,930,395 from 45 to 64; and 755,371 (9%) 65 or older. For every 100 females, there were 99.2 males and for every 100 females above the age of 18, there were 97.6 males.

Race and ethnicity[edit | edit source]

The East Gate on Broadway at the Chinatown Central Plaza.

Boasting one of the world's most multicultural communities, Porciúncula is home to over 140 different nationalities and 200 different languages. There are various ethnic enclaves and neighborhoods throughout the city including Chinatown, T-Town (Tondolese Town), Koreantown, Little Armenia, Little Saigon, Little Tokyo, and Little Andes.

According to the Census, 4,297,226 (51.2%) were white, 1,619,853 (19.3%) were Asians, 730,192 (8.7%) were African Sierrans, 50,358 (0.6%) were Native Sierrans or Hawaiian, 8,393 (0.1%) were Pacific Islanders, and 1,686,997 (20.1%) were of another race or multiracial. 3,105,417 people (37%) regardless of race identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino.

Mexicans, mostly from Bajaría, made up the largest ethnicity in the city at 33% of the total population. The historic, original population of the city, Mexicans have played an important part over the city's history and growth. Other groups include Puerto Ricans (1.8%), Salvadorians (0.8%), Guatemalans (0.6%), and Peruvians (0.5%). The heaviest concentration of Latinos and Hispanics live in the Eastside and South Porciúncula wards.

Porciúncula' Asian community is among the largest in the entire country with many of its ethnic groups with established communities and political structures. 4.2% of the city are Tondolese, 3.1% are Koreans, 2.7% are Chinese, 2.5% are Manchus, 2.4% are Vietnamese (from both North and South Vietnam), 2.3% are Indian, 1.2% are Bangladeshi, 1.2% are Japanese, and 1.1% are Taiwanese. The rest of the Asian population include peoples from Cambodia, Champa, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Ussuria.

The city is also home to significant number of people of Middle Eastern descent including Arabs, Armenians, Lebanese, Kurds, Persians, and Turkish. They are among the fastest growing ethnic groups in the city and have been known as the "new" immigrants in recent years.

African Sierrans live predominantly in the South Porciúncula ward near neighboring cities such as Compton which are also home to large African Sierran populations. The majority of blacks arrived in Porciúncula between the 1940s and 60s from the United States. In recent years, traditionally black communities have been replaced by Hispanic and Latino people as well as Asian communities. Newer black immigrants and university students from the Caribbean, West, and East Africa have settled in the more affluent districts such as Wilshire.

Crime[edit | edit source]

Porciúncula has suffered a long history of crime that was especially prevalent during the late 20th century. Since the 2000s, crime has declined significantly although areas of the city (particularly in the southern and eastern areas) remain violent and dominated by local gangs. Historically, Anglo-American gangs such as the Sierran Mafia dominated the criminal underworld scene in Porciúncula during the 1940s and 50s but came to be replaced by Hispanic and black gangs. The Armenian Power, Crips, Bloods, Sureños, and the Trillizos are prominent ethnic-based gangs that were formed in Porciúncula. In 2012, an estimated 89,000 Porciúnculanos were affiliated with a gang or criminal syndicate.

Religion[edit | edit source]

Compared to national averages, Porciúncula has a larger percentage of Roman Catholics with 27% accounting for religious faith in the city. This higher concentration of Catholics can be attributed to the city's higher incidence of Hispanic and Latino populations who have traditionally been Catholic. Among the city's Catholics, nearly 60% are affiliated with Catholic Church – Avignon, the officially recognized Catholic church in Sierra, while about 30% were affiliated with Catholic Church – Rome. The remainder of Catholics were associated with the Old Catholic movement. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Porciúncula has the largest membership of Catholics in the the northern North American region.

Protestantism remains the largest form of Christianity practiced with about 65% of Porciúncula population part of one of the 600 distinct denominations and churches represented city-wide. The largest denominations are Baptist, Methodist, Adventist, and Presbyterian. There are a significant amount of Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons living in the city as well. The latter's second largest temple is based in the city. There are also 30 churches city-wide that are independent and nondenominational.

Over 500,000 Jews live in Porciúncula although over half of them are secular or practice a different faith. Of the Jewish religious communities represented, Reform, Orthodox, Conservative, and Reconstructionist Judaism are all present in the city.

Reflecting demographic changes, Canaanism (predominantly Sanctionists), Eastern Orthodoxy, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Cao Dai, the Baha'i Faith, and Zoroastrianism are now also represented in the city. Porciúncula is also home to the controversial Church of Scientology which has had legal challenges with the national government over tax exemption status.

Economy[edit | edit source]

The main complex building for the Porciúncula Stock Exchange.

Porciúncula is a global hub for international business, commerce, and entertainment. In 2012, Porciúncula placed third behind New York City and Tokyo on the Global Economic Power Index, published by The Unionist. It is a leading center for international trade, entertainment (including movies, television, music, and video games), apparel and fashion, manufacturing, technology, tourism, banking, real estate, advertising, telecommunications and healthcare. The Port of Porciúncula and Port of Grands Ballons are relied on heavily to exert the city's trading power. The two ports, alongside the Port of Little Gibraltar, form the Tri-Port Authority, a joint venture between the provinces of the Gold Coast and the Channel Islands. The combined ports under the Tri-Port Authority form the Western Hemisphere's busiest seaports with an annual collective cargo tonnage of 93.8 million metric tons shipped in and out of the ports.

More than half of the listed Von Holt 100 companies are based in Porciúncula including The Walt Disney Company, Overstars, Kranh's, and the Media Corporation. Many other companies are also represented with over 2,500 different corporations based or founded in the city.

Other important sectors include the public government, medical research and technology, non-profit institutions and organizations, and universities.

Bunker Hill[edit | edit source]

Porciúncula' financial sector is the headquarters for Sierra's financial industry and is known by its name, Bunker Hill (a reference to the geographical formation found in the downtown area). Many large financial companies have either headquarters or major regional offices in Porciúncula. Downtown Porciúncula is Sierra's largest central business district and one of the largest in the world. The Porciúncula Stock Exchange is the third largest in the world, after the New York Stock Exchange and Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Culture[edit | edit source]

Known as the "Creative Capital of the World", Porciúncula has the highest concentration and population of artists, writers, singers, filmmakers, actors, dancers, and musicians living in the world.

Home to Hollywood, Porciúncula is recognized globally as the undisputed leader in the motion picture industry. The prestigious Academy Awards (Oscars) are held annually in Porciúncula along with several other film events. The USC School of Cinematic Arts, one of the world's oldest and most reputed filming schools, is based in Porciúncula. The music and recording industry is also prevalent in Porciúncula with the majority of pop, rock, hip hop, and rap music produced and distributed by the various companies established in the city.

Performing arts are also strong in Porciúncula. Notable organizations and groups include the world-renowned, Porciúncula Philharmonic, the Porciúncula Master Chorale, the Pacific Philharmonic & Symphony, the Porciúncula Opera, the Center Theatre Group, and the National Ballet of Sierra.

There are over 500 museums and art galleries in Porciúncula earning it first in most museums in a city per capita. Notable sites include the National Archives of Sierra, National Museum of Visual Arts, the Getty Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Gallery Row Exhibition Center.

Media[edit | edit source]

Porciúncula is home to Sierra's five largest television broadcasting companies: Eagle Broadcasting Company, 16ON, Media Corporation, the Royal Broadcasting Service, and Tokki. Many cable broadcasting and independent television networks are also based in or around Porciúncula. The major English-language daily newspapers in the city are the Porciúncula Times and The Bunker Hill Journal, although there are other newspapers that cater to specific language groups including La Opinión (Spanish), The Epoch Times (Chinese), The Korea Times (Korean), and the Nguoi Viet Daily News (Vietnamese).

Other newspapers and journals circulated frequently in the city include the Porciúncula Weekly, Newstar, the Porciúncula Business Journal, and The Hollywood Reporter.

Government and politics[edit | edit source]

The Porciúncula City Hall is the center of the Porciúncula municipal government. The building is physically half a mile away from the center of the Gold Coast provincial and Sierra national governments.

Porciúncula operates as charter city with special-district and consolidated city-county status. Its current charter was adopted on June 8, 2007 and is the fifth revision since the city received charter status in 1901. The elected government is composed of the Porciúncula City Council and the Mayor of Porciúncula who operate under the mayor-council government. The city is divided and organized into nine wards, each headed by a Ward member who is a part of the city council. There are also two at-large officials who represent the city as a whole in the council. The city has many departments and appointed officials which overlap with the provincial and national governments including the Porciúncula Police Department (PPD), Porciúncula Fire Department (PFD), and Porciúncula Public Library (PPL). Some entities at the provincial or national level have conterminous jurisdiction with the city government. In addition to the municipal government, as a consolidated city-county, Porciúncula also has the county-level Porciúncula Board of Supervisors, composed of five elected officials and its own water, fire, and electricity districts.

As the capital city, Porciúncula is responsible for hosting the embassies of foreign countries and states in Sierra. Nearly every country that Sierra recognizes is represented in Porciúncula with the majority of them within the downtown area (prominently along the North Spring Street). In addition, Porciúncula is home to the headquarters of several organizations including the Trans-Pacific Allied Community.

Federal and provincial representation[edit | edit source]

As of 2021, the city of Porciúncula is split between fourteen districts for the Gold Coast Province Assembly, nine districts for the Gold Coast Senate, and twenty-sven parliamentary districts for the national House of Commons. The senators for the province of the Gold Coast represent Porciúncula in the national Senate.

Education[edit | edit source]

Royce Hall, one of the original buildings of the University of Sierra, Porciúncula.

There are five public universities within city limits: the University of Sierra, Porciúncula (US Porciúncula), Sierra National University, Porciúncula (SNU Porciúncula), Sierra National University, Northridge (SNU Northridge), Sierra National Polytechnic University, Porciúncula (Sierra Poly Porciúncula), and King Charles University.

Private higher education institutions include Mulholland University, University of Southwest Corridor, Biola University, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), Occidental College, and Loyola Marymount University.

The community college system consists of eight campuses and is managed by the Porciúncula City Colleges, a branch of the Gold Coast Department of Education. The city is divided into two school districts: the Porciúncula Unified School District (PUSD) and the Las Virgenes Unified School District (LVUSD). Together, both districts operate 162 schools at the elementary, middle, and high school level and 15 additional schools for adults, the blind, and the deaf. The Porciúncula High School for the Arts is directly administered by the Porciúncula municipal government.

There are a number of private schools and educational facilities. The majority of these are managed by religious institutions although there are also institutions held by corporate or commercial owners. Notable schools include the St. Paul the Apostle Church and School (managed by the Catholic Church), The Concordia Schools system (managed by the Lutheran Church), and the Wilshire Private School.

Infrastructure and transport[edit | edit source]

Airports[edit | edit source]

Two airports are based within the city limits: the Porciúncula International Airport (LAX) and the Van Nuys International Airport (VNY). LAX is one of the world's busiest and largest passenger airports serving 84 million visitors annually and generates millions in profit for the city government. The Van Nuys airport is the nation's busiest general aviation airport and also plays an important factor to the local government. Both airports are managed by the municipal Greater Porciúncula Aviation Authority agency which has jurisdiction over four additional airports outside the city limits: the Hollwood Providencia Airport (Providencia; BUR), the Grands Ballons International Airport (Grands Ballons; GRB), the Queen Elizabeth International Airport (St. Anne; QEL), and San Antonio International Airport (San Antonio, SAI).

One other prominent airport that serves the city are outside the city and provincial limits exists outside the jurisdiction of the Greater Porciúncula Aviation Authority. The Riverside International Airport (Riverside; RION) and the Queen Angelina Airport (Santa Ana; QAA) is based in the province of the Inland Empire and competes with the Aviation Authority's airport in San Antonio.

Freeways[edit | edit source]

An aerial view of Provincial Route 5 (Gold Coast Route 5.svg), the Grands Ballons Freeway in Porciúncula.

Featuring an extensive network of freeways and expressways, Porciúncula ranked first most congested roads in the entire North American region. Various interprovincial highways run through Porciúncula, connecting the city with other major population centers (San Francisco City, San Diego, Riverside, Las Vegas, and Phoenix) in and out the province of the Gold Coast.

Major routes[edit | edit source]

Interprovincial 1 (Gold Coast).svg Interprovincial 1 (King Charles I Expressway)
Interprovincial 2 (Gold Coast).svg Interprovincial 2 (King Louis I Expressway)
Interprovincial 4 (Gold Coast).svg Interprovincial 4 (All-Sierran Highway)
Gold Coast Route 5.svg Gold Coast Provincial Route 5 (Grands Ballons Freeway)
Gold Coast Route 19.svg Gold Coast Provincial Route 19 (Rosemead Boulevard)
Gold Coast Route 39.svg Gold Coast Provincial Route 39 (Islip Freeway)
Gold Coast Route 41.svg Gold Coast Provincial Route 41 (Foothill Freeway)
Route 57 (Gold Coast).svg K.S. Route 57 (Tustin Freeway)
Route 60 (Gold Coast).svg K.S. Route 60 (Ontario Freeway)
Route 91 (Gold Coast).svg K.S. Route 91 (Riverside Freeway)
Route 16 (Gold Coast).svg K.S. Scenic Route 16 (Pacific Coast Highway) California Scenic State.svg
North Spring Rd.png North Spring Road (Government Street/Embassy Row)

Transit system[edit | edit source]

The City of Porciúncula in conjunction with the Gold Coast Provincial Department of Transportation manages and operates extensive bus lines, subway rails, and light rail lines. According to the Department, there was a monthly ridership of 47.9 million in 2012. Most lines are offered by the public although private rail lines operated by independent companies also exist throughout the city.

Seaports[edit | edit source]

The city manages one port, the Port of Porciúncula, located in St. Pierre-Chah Bay, about 20 miles south of the downtown area. Although the Port of Grands Ballons is outside city limits (and instead, managed by the City of Grands Ballons), it is adjacent to the Port of Porciúncula and serves an important role to the city economy. Together, alongside the Port of Little Gibraltar in the nearby Channel Islands, the ports form the Tri-Port Area, the third busiest in the world and the busiest in the entire Western Hemisphere. There are several, smaller harbors throughout the city coastline as well.

Sister cities[edit | edit source]

Porciúncula has a total of 13 sister cities listed chronologically by year of partnering:

See also[edit | edit source]