Memphis - description of the city:

The city of Memphis is located in the southwest part of Tennessee. It is the largest city of the state with a population of 655,155 as of 2012. The city occupies a bluff that rises from the Mississippi River. The area is a natural location for settlement by people. The Chickasaw Indian Tribe first settled in the area. The tribe was followed by European exploration that started during the 16th century.


In the year 1795, Manuel Gayoso de Lemos, the governor of Louisiana, acquired some land from the Chickasaw in order to build a fort. In the summer of 1795, Fort San Fernando de las Barrancas was created just south of the Wolf River. This fort provided Spain with control of Mississippi river navigation in the area. Spain ceded this control when they abandoned the territory under Pinckney’s Treaty. The fort was dismantled by the Spanish and the lumber was shipped to locations in Arkansas.

In the year 1796, the site was the westernmost point for the state of Tennessee, which was just admitted to the United States.

The city of Memphis as a European/American city was created in May of 1819. The city was named after the ancient capital in Egypt located on the Nile River. During the 19th century the city was developed as a transportation center because of its location up above the Mississippi river. The outlying area of the city was developed for cotton plantations. The city was a major market for cotton as well as a brokerage center.

The economy for cotton depended on a large number of slaves from Africa. For this reason, the city became a large slave market. There were over a million slaves transported to the area during the earlier part of the 19th century. The majority of the slaves were transported along the Mississippi and the Ohio rivers.

In 1861, the state seceded from the union and the city of Memphis was a stronghold for the confederates. The city was captured by the union during the battle of Memphis that occurred on the 6th of June in 1862. The city was then used by the union for a supply base.

During the 20th century the city grew as a spot cotton market and a hardwood lumber market. In addition, it became the largest mule market in the world.

The city was at the center of civil right issues during the 1960s. Martin Luther King came to the city to support the cause of the workers. He was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel where he was staying during his visit to the city. This occurred the day after he gave his speech at the Mason Temple.

The city is known for cultural contributions that identify the south. There are many renowned musicians who grew up in the area, which is one of the reasons that the city is so famous for its music. Some of the more famous musicians from Memphis include Aretha Franklin, Jay Reatard, Justin Timberlake, Ale Chilton, Al Green, Eric Gales, Booker T. Jones, as well as many others. Of course Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley are two of the most iconic musicians that are from the Memphis area.

Where to Go When Visiting Memphis

If you truly want to live the culture of Memphis, you will have your pick of museums and performing arts. There are several Broadway shows that stop in the city on their national tours. Typically, these will be performed as the Orpheum Theater. There is also a professional resident theater located in the city. In addition, Memphis has an opera, a professional ballet company, and a symphony orchestra.

There are also some great museums located throughout the city. Some of the museums have fine art and others let you listen to music that has made history. Each of the museums introduces you to a little bit of the Memphis culture.

Family Entertainment

Memphis is a great place for family fun as there is something to do for every age group. The
Children’s museum of Memphis as well as the march of the Peabody ducks are both perfect for entertaining your young ones. Shelby Farms Park is a great place to have a picnic and watch the bison. If you are ready to view even more animals, the Memphis zoo is the perfect place to do so. if you just want to relax and enjoy the scenery, a riverboat cruise is the perfect answer. Of course, everyone will enjoy a tour of Graceland, Elvis’s home. You will also want to make sure to take a stroll along Beale Street while visiting the city.

There are many great places to shop in Memphis as well. You will find modern malls that sell all of the latest fashions as well as antique shops that offer the vintage goods that you have been looking for. In addition, the city offers historic department stores, folksy art galleries, and even some funky record stores for you to browse. The museums of the city and other attractions all offer one of a kind items from their gift shops as well.

Music in Memphis

Memphis is considered the birthplace of Rock and Roll. The city is also the starting point for soul music as well as being the home of the blues. There have been many music legends that have left their mark on the city including Otis Redding, W.C. Handy, B.B. King, Johnny Cash, and of course Elvis Presley. You can still hear their influences in the music in the area today.

In order to complete your musical tour of the city you will want to make sure that you visit Graceland, which is the home of Elvis. Any music lover must see this beautiful home. In addition, make sure that you visit the Stax Museum for American Soul Music, the Sun Studio, and the Rock ‘n’ Soul museum. In the evening hours make sure to take a walk down Beale Street to listen to the live music that is made in Memphis today.

Eating in Memphis

When you eat in Memphis you will find that it is a soulful experience. The specialty of the city is barbecue and you will find well over 100 barbecue joints located all throughout the city. However, the city has much more to offer in the food area as well. There are soul food restaurants located in the city that serve food that you will not ever forget. You will find steak, sushi, some of the best burgers around, authentic Mexican and Italian, as well as many international cuisines offered by world renowned chefs. Take the time to try all of the different foods that the city has to offer.


There are many great events that take place throughout the city. Memphis in May is one of the largest events that takes place each year. This is a month of events that promotes the heritage of the city. There are four main events that take place during the month. These are the Sunset Symphony, the World Championship for Barbecue Cooking Contest, International Week, and the Beale Street Music festival. The barbecue contest is the largest contest of this type in the entire world.

Africa in April is celebrated in downtown Memphis during the month of April. This festival was created as a way to celebrate the history, culture, diversity, and arts of African diaspora. This is a 3 day festival that includes fashion showcases, vendors markets, an international parade, and a blues showcase.

In the month of June, the city is home of the Italian Festival located at Marquette Park. This festival has hosted local artisans, Italian cooking, and musical acts for over 20 years. There is a competitive Bocce tournament, chef demonstrations, a volleyball tournament as well as a pizza tossing demonstration that occur during this festival.

Also in June is the Carnival Memphis. This is a series of festivities and parties that salute different aspects of the city and its industries. There is a king and queen secretly selected who reign over the activities of the carnival.

In September, the Cooper Young Festival is held. This event draws artists from throughout North America. The festival includes art sales, displays, contests, and music from locals.

There are several music and film festivals held in Memphis every year as well. The International Jazz festival is held in the downtown area each year on the weekend before thanksgiving. The Indie Memphis film festival is held each April and is recognized as being one of the best film festivals in the country.

There are many great reasons to visit the city of Memphis. No matter what your interests are, there is something for you in this wonderful city. Music and history lovers will both find a wide variety of activities to enjoy in the city. There is live music all the time as well as many great restaurants and shops to visit.

Country United States
International title Memphis
Population 646,889 people
Timezone America/Chicago
State Tennessee
Geographic coordinates Latitude: 35.14953 x Longitude: -90.04898

Photo Galery Memphis

Spending days in Memphis
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Unknown Memphis
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Sights of Memphis
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Places of interest in Memphis
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A tour about Memphis
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Magic world of Memphis
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The beauty of Memphis
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One day in Memphis
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Places to see in Memphis
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Nowadays of Memphis
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Memphis Photogallery
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History and present of Memphis
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Memphis video guide

Places to visit in Memphis

Famous Places

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