Together with its sister city St. Paul, Minneapolis is the cultural focus par excellence in the Midwest of the United States and the largest city in Minnesota according to trackaah.com.
When it comes to the US and culture, everyone automatically thinks New York first. Broadway, Met, world-famous collections. Fine, so the association is justified, but it shouldn’t be everything. Because other mothers also have beautiful daughters and in other cities in the USA, of course, you don’t live completely cultured and idle to yourself. The best example of this is Minneapolis. Together with St. Paul, Minneapolis is the cultural focus of the American Midwest. By the way, both cities are often mentioned in the same breath and then referred to as “Twin Cities”.
To put it really very clearly: After New York City, this is where the highest per capita density that the USA has to offer in theaters can be found. Of course, that shouldn’t be the only reason to visit this region and this city. Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota, in which the city is located, have a lot more to offer.
How best to get there
The “Twin Cities” have an international airport, but direct connections to Europe are rare or even non-existent. This is a bit surprising in that many of the residents have descended from ancestors in Germany and the Scandinavian countries and still have family connections there. Still, you have to change sometime. The fastest and easiest way to do this is in Washington and Chicago. There are also good connections to the Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport from Denver, Houston and Phoenix.
How it all started
Less than 350 years ago there was no sign of Minneapolis anywhere. Instead, Indians from the Dakota tribe settled in what is now the city, after whom two US states were later named. Around 1680 the quiet was over. Fur traders from France had invaded the area and together with subsequent settlers from Europe they claimed more and more land for themselves. In the first quarter of the 19th century, at the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Minnesota River, “Fort Snelling” was built, a forerunner of Minneapolis, which was granted city status around 50 years later.
Minneapolis grew rapidly and, thanks to its waterfront location, invested in flour mills and sawmills. The city has always been successful, it has always been rich and accordingly it could afford a lot. In the fifties of the last century it was therefore decided to renovate the entire city center. Unfortunately, many historical buildings fell victim to this decision and were demolished without further ado. To this day, the city center has retained a decidedly modern atmosphere, which also impresses with bold architectural highlights.
But now finally off to the theater!
There is no genre that is not performed on the Minneapolis stages. Musicals and variety shows are just as much at home here as spoken theater and opera. Of course, friends of ballet and classical music also get their money’s worth all year round. The spectrum of venues ranges from small room theaters to very large state theaters. One of the most traditional houses is the Guthrie Theater, which moved into a new building in 2006. The well-known French architect Jean Nouvel was responsible for the construction plans. Other well-known houses are the State Theater, the Orpheum Theater and the Pantages Theater. The Orchestra Hall is home to the Minnesota Orchestra, one of the best symphony orchestras in America.
The fine arts have their place in Minnesota too, and what a place! The Minneapolis Institute of Arts was built south of the city in 1915 and has over 80,000 exhibits. The Walker Art Center is considered one of the best contemporary museums. Visiting both houses should be a pleasant “must” while in Minneapolis.
At the end of the day, it’s time to get out of town
Culture is great, but nature is not to be despised either. Especially when on vacation, people want to take a deep breath every now and then. The sometimes really grandiose and in large parts still untouched nature of Minnesota offers more than one opportunity to do so. Voyageurs National Park, Frontenac State Park, Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge and Alexander Ramsey Park offer different landscapes, tranquility and lots of opportunities for outdoor activities. Even that is only a small selection of what nature has in store for visitors in this state, which borders Canada in the north. Even those who actually wanted to stay in Minneapolis for their entire vacation should definitely not refuse one or the other excursion to these natural beauties.
Minnesota and Politics
Minnesota is firmly in democratic hands. Since 1980 the Democrats have won all presidential elections. But here, too, there is a change and the influence of the Democrats has diminished somewhat over time. Today, thanks to the growth of conservative suburbs in Minneapolis / St. Paul as a swing state.