Minneapolis is the seat of Hennepin County
. It and sister city St Paul
lie on the banks of the Mississippi River, where I-35 and I-94 meet just west of the Wisconsin line. Together, they form the Minneapolis-St. Paul
Minneapolis combines the Dakota word for water, "minne" with the Greek word for city, "polis" - the city has 18 lakes. French explorers searching for the Northwest Passage were the first Europeans to visit the region.
Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota, and the area is the center of finance, industry, trade, and transportation for the Upper Midwest. The population estimate for 1998 was 351,731.
With an average annual temperature of 45 degrees, Minneapolis is the second coldest city in the United States. The University of Minnesota's main campus and several other institutes of higher learning call Minneapolis home. The Twin Cities Metro Region is second only to New York in per capita attendance at theater and other arts events.