Golden Gate

Golden Gate

The Golden Gate is the North American strait connecting San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. Since 1937 it has been spanned by the Golden Gate Bridge. Technically, the 'gate' is defined by the headlands of the San Francisco Peninsula and the Marin Peninsula, while the 'strait' is the water flowing in between.

During the last Ice Age, when sea level was several hundred feet lower, the waters of the glacier-fed Sacramento River and the San Joaquin River scoured a deep channel through the bedrock on their way to the ocean. [A similar process created the undersea Hudson Canyon off the coast of New York and New Jersey.] The strait is well known today for its depth and powerful tidal currents from the Pacific Ocean. Many small whirlpools and eddies can form in its waters.

Before the arrival of Europeans in the eighteenth century, the area around the strait and the bay was inhabited by the Ohlone people.

The Golden Gate is often shrouded in fog. During the summer, the heat in the California Central Valley causes the air there to rise. This can create strong winds which pull cool moist air in from over the ocean through the break in the hills caused by the Golden Gate, commonly causing a stream of dense fog to enter the bay. The strait was surprisingly elusive for early European explorers, presumably due to this persistent summer fog. The strait is not recorded in the voyages of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo nor Francis Drake, both of whom may have explored the nearby coast in the sixteenth century in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. The strait is also unrecorded in observation by Spanish galleons returning from the Philippines that laid up in nearby Drakes Bay. These galleons rarely passed east of the Farallon Islands (27 miles west of the Golden Gate), fearing the possibility of rocks between the Islands and the mainland.

The first recorded observation of the strait occurred nearly two hundred years later than the earliest European explorations of the coast; in 1769 Sgt. José Francisco Ortega, the leader of a scouting party sent north along the peninsula of present-day San Francisco, reported that he could proceed no further because of the strait. On 5 August 1775 Juan de Ayala and the crew of his ship the "San Carlos" became the first Europeans known to have passed through the strait, anchoring in a cove behind Angel Island which is now named in Ayala's honor. Until the 1840s the strait was called the "Boca del Puerto de San Francisco" (Mouth of the Port of San Francisco). On 1 July, 1846, before the discovery of gold in California, the entrance acquired a new name. In his memoirs, John C. Frémont wrote, "To this Gate I gave the name of "Chrysopylae", or "Golden Gate"; for the same reasons that the harbor of Byzantium was called Chrysoceras, or Golden Horn." [Gudde, Erwin G. "California Place Names" (2004) University of California Press, London, England. ISBN 0-520-24217-3.]

Places named after the Straits of the Golden Gate

The Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, and Golden Gate University are named after the Golden Gate.

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay onto the Pacific Ocean. As part of both US Highway 101 and California Route 1, it connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County.

The Golden Gate Bridge had the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed in 1937 and has become an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and California. Since its completion, the span length has been surpassed by eight other bridges. It still has the second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States, after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. In 2007, it was ranked fifth on the "List of America's Favorite Architecture" by the American Institute of Architects.

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park, located in San Francisco, California, is a large urban park consisting of 1017 acres (4.1 km², 1.6 mi²) of public grounds. Configured as a rectangle, it is similar in shape but 174 acres (0.7 km², 0.27 mi²) larger than Central Park in New York, to which it is often compared. With 13 million visitors annually, Golden Gate is the third most visited city park in The United States (after Central Park and Lincoln Park in Chicago).

Golden Gate University

Founded in 1901, Golden Gate University (informally referred to as "GGU", or simply as "Golden Gate") is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational university located in the Financial District of downtown San Francisco, California. "U.S. News & World Report" designated Golden Gate University as a "selective university" while ranking their School of Law's environmental law program 18th in the United States and 3rd in California, surpassed only by UC Berkeley and Stanford [] . "U.S. News and World Report" has also given recognition to the university's online programs, rating them "among the best in the nation."


External links

* [ National Park Service: Discovery of the Golden Gate]
* [ Golden Gate 360 Image (QTVR)]
* [ Golden Gate 360 Image (Java)]
* [ Digitally Restored Panoramic Composited View of The Golden Gate, Fort Point, and San Francisco Bay as seen from "Land's End" near Sutro Heights, c. 1895.]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Golden Gate — the Golden Gate an area of water which connects San Francisco Bay in California with the Pacific Ocean. It is crossed by the Golden Gate Bridge …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Golden Gate, FL — U.S. Census Designated Place in Florida Population (2000): 20951 Housing Units (2000): 7010 Land area (2000): 4.036222 sq. miles (10.453766 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.038325 sq. miles (0.099261 sq. km) Total area (2000): 4.074547 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Golden Gate, IL — U.S. village in Illinois Population (2000): 100 Housing Units (2000): 51 Land area (2000): 0.076533 sq. miles (0.198220 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.076533 sq. miles (0.198220 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Golden Gate —   [ gəʊldən geɪt; englisch »goldenes Tor«], die rd. 5 km lange Einfahrt in die San Francisco Bay, in Kalifornien, USA; überspannt von der Golden Gate Brücke (erbaut von Joseph Baermann Strauss, * 1870, ✝ 1938), eine der längsten Hängebrücken der… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Golden Gate — [so named (1846) by FRÉMONT John Charles after the GOLDEN HORN in anticipation of the flow of Asian riches through the strait] strait between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific: 2 mi (3.2 km) wide …   English World dictionary

  • Golden Gate — Para otros usos de este término, véase Golden Gate (desambiguación). Golden Gate Vista del estrecho Ubicación geográfica …   Wikipedia Español

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  • Golden Gate — Das Golden Gate mit der berühmten Brücke Die Meerenge, rot markiert die Golden Gate Bridge Das Golden Gate (zu deutsch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Golden gate — El Golden Gate es un estrecho situado en California occidental, a la entrada de la bahía de San Francisco, a la que separa del océano Pacífico. Tiene 7,9 km de largo. El famoso puente de Golden Gate con un ancho de 28 metros y 2.7 kilómetros de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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