Oakland, California, the seat of Alameda County. It lies on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, across from San Francisco. The two cities, linked by the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and a subway, together form the nucleus of one of the nation's most populous urban areas. Adjoining cities include Berkeley, Alameda, San Leandro, and Castro Valley. Oakland's land area is 56 square miles (145 km2. Elevations vary from sea level to about 1,900 feet (579 m) in the hills at the eastern edge of the city.

Downtown Oakland lies inland from San Francisco Bay, between Lake Merritt and the Oakland Inner Harbor, a long narrow arm of the bay. Along the inner harbor are the principal industrial areas, with large factories, railway yards, warehouses, and port facilities. The city's principal residential districts and many of its major parks are in the eastern hills overlooking the bay.

Oakland is primarily a manufacturing and transportation center. Automobiles, trucks, electrical goods, office machines, processed foods, chemicals, and containers are among (he area's many products. Technology-related industries and services in the medical field are also important to the economy. Several trunk railways and hundreds of trucking lines maintain terminals in Oakland. Its port is one of the busiest on the west coast; its international airport provides service for much of the bay area.

Lake Merritt, covering some 155 acres (63 hectares), is one of Oakland's chief attractions Along its shores are Lakeside Park, Children's Fairyland, the Trial and Show Gardens, and the Rotary Nature Center. The Oakland Museum is noted for its exhibits on history and natural science. The Chabot Space and Science Center has a planetarium, observatories, and many science and astronomy exhibits The restored Paramount Theatre presents ballet and musical productions. The Network Associates Coliseum and the Arena are used for sports and exhibitions Mills College and the California College of Arts and Crafts are here Oakland is the home of the Athletics (professional baseball), the Golden State Warriors (professional basketball), and the Raiders (professional football).

Oakland was first settled by Americans after the United States acquired California from Mexico in 1848. Before that time, Oakland's site was part of. the estate granted by Spain to Sergeant Luis Maria Peralta in 1820. The settlement was incorporated as town in 1852 and as a city in 1854. It was made the seat of Alameda County in 182. Growth was fairly rapid, especially from 1900 to 1950. In 1989 a major earthquake struck the area, causing the collapse of a double-decked highway and the death of about 40 persons. In 1991 a brush fire caused major damage in parts of the city.

Population: 399,484.