Saint Paul (c-eniconˌseɪnt_ˈpɔːl; abbreviated St. Paul) is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the north bank of the Mississippi River, downstream of the river's confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city. Known as the "Twin Cities", these two cities form the core of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with about 3.5 million residents. The city's population at the 2010 census was 285,068. Saint Paul serves as the county seat of Ramsey County, the smallest and most densely populated county in Minnesota.
Founded near historic Native American settlements as a trading and transportation center, the city rose to prominence when it was named the capital of the Minnesota Territory in 1849. Though Minneapolis is more nationally recognized, Saint Paul contains important institutions and the state's political activity. Regionally, the city is popular for the Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild, and for the Science Museum of Minnesota. As a business hub of the Upper Midwest, it is headquarters for companies such as Ecolab and Lawson Software. Saint Paul, along with its Twin City, Minneapolis, is known for its high literacy rate. It is the only city in the United States with a population of 250,000 or more to increase the circulation number of Sunday newspapers in 2007.
The settlement originally began at present-day Lambert's Landing, but was referred to as Pig's Eye when Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant established a popular tavern there. When Fr. Lucien Galtier, the first Catholic pastor of the region, established the Log Chapel of Saint Paul (shortly thereafter to become the first location of the Cathedral of Saint Paul), he made it known that the settlement was now to be called by that name, as "Saint Paul as applied to a town or city was well appropriated, this monosyllable is short, sounds good, it is understood by all Christian denominations...".