Saint Paul is the capital and the second most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. The city and the adjacent city of Minneapolis, form the core of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, the fifteenth largest such area in the United States with a population of 3.5 million. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 287,151. Saint Paul serves as the county seat of Ramsey County, the most densely populated county in Minnesota. Residents of Saint Paul are referred to as Saint Paulites.
Saint Paul began as a tavern started by Pierre Parrant, known as “Pig’s Eye”, because he was blind in one eye, who sold liquor on the river flats below the current downtown area. The area around the tavern grew into a trading outpost known as Pig’s Eye or Pig’s Eye Landing, where Native Americans, European explorers, and American soldiers lived in close proximity. The city spans the Mississippi river, near the confluence of the Minnesota River. Later the city became a center for transportation and trade in Minnesota, as steamboats could not travel further upriver. In 1854, Saint Paul incorporated as a city and, in 1858, became the capital of Minnesota.