The Jewish population of around 8, in the city is served by five synagogues. Most Jewish families emigrated from Eastern Europe at the start of the 20th century; around Soviet Jews have moved to Louisville since From to , Jewish Hospital merged with two Kentucky-based Catholic healthcare systems to form KentuckyOne Health , which later in announced a partnership with the University of Louisville Hospital. A significant focal point for Louisville's Jewish community is located near Bowman Field , where there are two Orthodox synagogues including Anshei Sfard , founded in , the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family and Career Services, and an affordable housing complex.
Since , every May, the Festival of Faiths,  a five-day national interfaith gathering, is held featuring music, poetry, film, art and dialogue with internationally renowned spiritual leaders, thinkers and practitioners. Louisville today is home to dozens of companies and organizations across several industrial classifications. However, the underpinning of the city's economy since its earliest days has been the shipping and cargo industries. Louisville's importance to the shipping industry continues today with the presence of the Worldport global air-freight hub for UPS at Louisville International Airport.
Louisville's location at the crossroads of three major interstate highways I , I , and I also contributes to its modern-day strategic importance to the shipping and cargo industry. In addition, the Port of Louisville  continues Louisville's river shipping presence at Jefferson Riverport International. As of , Louisville ranks as the seventh-largest inland port in the United States.
Louisville is a significant center of manufacturing, with two major Ford plants, and the headquarters and major home appliance factory of GE Appliances a subsidiary of Haier. The city is also a major center of the American whiskey industry, with about one-third of all bourbon coming from Louisville. The current primary distillery site operated by Heaven Hill , called the Bernheim distillery, is also located in Louisville near Brown-Forman's distillery.
Other distilleries and related businesses can also be found in neighboring cities in Kentucky, such as Bardstown , Clermont , Lawrenceburg , and Loretto. Similar to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail that links these central Kentucky locations, Louisville offers tourists its own "Urban Bourbon Trail",  where people can stop at nearly 20 "area bars and restaurants, all offering at least 50 labels of America's only native spirit. Not typically known for high tech outside of the previously identified industries, the city in the s has been at or near the forefront of some high-tech-related developments.
In April , Google Fiber confirmed that Louisville will be wired for its ultrafast network. Reynolds in to form the Reynolds American Company. Louisville prides itself in its large assortment of small, independent businesses and restaurants, some of which have become known for their ingenuity and creativity.
In , the Brown Hotel became the home of the Hot Brown "sandwich". A few blocks away, the Seelbach Hotel , which F. Scott Fitzgerald references in The Great Gatsby , is also famous for a secret back room where Al Capone would regularly meet with associates during the Prohibition era.
Louisville is home to many annual cultural events. Perhaps most well-known is the Kentucky Derby , held annually during the first Saturday of May. The Derby is preceded by a two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival , which starts with the annual Thunder Over Louisville , the largest annual fireworks display in North America.
Esquire magazine has called the Kentucky Derby "the biggest party in the south. Usually beginning in late February or early March is the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville , an internationally acclaimed new-play festival that lasts approximately six weeks. The festival lasts five days and is located on the Belvedere in downtown Louisville.
The summer season in Louisville also features a series of cultural events such as the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival commonly called "Shakespeare in Central Park" , held in July of every year and features free Shakespeare plays in Central Park in Old Louisville. Also in July, the Forecastle Festival draws 35, visitors annually to Louisville Waterfront Park in celebration of the best in music, art and environmental activism.
In places, the African American community celebrates Juneteenth commemorating June 19, , when slaves in the western territories learned of their freedom. In September, in nearby Bardstown , is the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival , which celebrates the history and art of distilling bourbon whiskey. The suburb of Jeffersontown is also the home of the annual Gaslight Festival , a series of events spread over a week. Attendance is approximately , for the week. The month of October features the St. Thousands of artists gather on the streets and in the courtyard to exhibit and sell their wares, and the event is attended by many art collectors and enthusiasts.
The show is the second most-attended event next to the Derby. Another art-related event that occurs every month is the First Friday Hop. A Louisville locale that highlights this scene is Bardstown Road , an area located in the heart of the Highlands. Bardstown Road is known for its cultural diversity and local trade.
The majority of the businesses along Bardstown Road, such as coffee shops, clothing stores and art galleries, are locally owned and operated businesses. Though it is only about one mile 1. In downtown Louisville, 21c Museum Hotel , a hotel that showcases contemporary art installations and exhibitions throughout its public spaces, and features a red penguin on its roof, is, according to The New York Times , "an innovative concept with strong execution and prompt and enthusiastic service.
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Cellist Ben Sollee splits his time between Louisville and Lexington. Post-grunge band Days of the New , at one time including future breakout pop star Nicole Scherzinger , formed in Louisville in the mids. The Louisville music scene reaches a crescendo every July during the Forecastle Festival , a three-day music, art and environmental activism festival taking place at Louisville Waterfront Park. Especially catering to Louisville's music scene is The station features not only national and international musicians common to public radio, but also local and regional talent.
The station also hosts summer concerts on the waterfront from April until July, where up-and-coming alternative artists are brought to stage. In this area is the Frazier History Museum , which opened its doors in as an armaments museum, featuring the only collection of Royal Armouries artifacts outside of the United Kingdom.
Since then the Frazier has expanded its focus to broader history. The Frazier Museum has three floors of exhibits, an education center and a tournament ring, which presents daily performances, as well as event spaces available for rent, including a rooftop garden featuring native plants and 4th floor loft-style space that accommodates up to people seated.
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Also nearby is the Kentucky Science Center , which is Kentucky's largest hands-on science center and features interactive exhibits, IMAX films, educational programs and technology networks. The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft , opened in , is a nonprofit organization with a mission to support and promote excellence in art, craft, applied arts and design.
The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution SAR is a patriotic, historical, and educational non-profit organization and a leading male lineage society that perpetuates the ideals of the American war for independence and the founding of the United States. The Speed Art Museum opened in and is the oldest and largest art museum in the state of Kentucky. Located adjacent to the University of Louisville , the museum features over 12, pieces of art in its permanent collection and hosts traveling exhibitions.
Multiple art galleries are located in the city, but they are especially concentrated in the East Market District NuLu , immediately to the east of downtown. This row of galleries, plus others in the West Main District, are prominently featured in the monthly First Friday Hop. Several local history museums can be found in the Louisville area.
The most prominent among them is The Filson Historical Society , founded in , which has holdings exceeding 1. The Filson's extensive collections focus on Kentucky, the Upper South and the Ohio River Valley , and contain a large collection of portraiture and over 10, museum artifacts. The Falls interpretive center, part of the Falls of the Ohio National Wildlife Conservation Area , also functions as a natural history museum, covering findings in the nearby exposed Devonian fossil bed.
There are also several historical properties and items of interest in the area, including the Belle of Louisville , the oldest Mississippi -style steamboat in operation in the United States. Fort Knox , spread out among Bullitt , Hardin and Meade Counties two of which are in the Louisville metropolitan area , is home to the U. The previously mentioned Locust Grove, former home of Louisville Founder George Rogers Clark , portrays life in the early days of the city.
The Louisville area is also home to the Waverly Hills Sanatorium , a turn-of-the-century 20th hospital that was originally built to accommodate tuberculosis patients, and subsequently has been reported and sensationalized to be haunted. The Little Loomhouse maintains historical records of local spinning and weaving patterns and techniques, and also offers tours, hands-on activities, and professional-level classes and materials. The Kentucky Center , dedicated in , located in the downtown hotel and entertainment district, features a variety of plays and concerts. The Louisville Orchestra was founded in by conductor Robert Whitney and Charles Farnsley , then Mayor of Louisville, and was a world leader in commissioning and recording contemporary works for orchestra from the s to s.
The Louisville Orchestra today performs more than concerts per year with a core of salaried musicians and is recognized as a cornerstone of the Louisville arts community. Actors Theatre of Louisville , is in the city's urban cultural district and hosts the Humana Festival of New American Plays each spring. It presents approximately six hundred performances of about thirty productions during its year-round season, composed of a diverse array of contemporary and classical fare. Louisville is home to a fast-growing independent theatre scene. The Louisville Palace , the official venue for the Louisville Orchestra, is an ornate theatre in downtown Louisville 's so-called theatre district.
In addition to orchestra performances, the theatre shows films and hosts concerts. Iroquois Park is the home of the renovated Iroquois Amphitheater, which hosts a variety of musical concerts in a partially covered outdoor setting. College sports are popular in the Louisville area. College basketball is particularly popular.
Center following suit with regular sellouts. The Cardinals ranked third nationally in attendance in —13 ,  the most recent of the program's three national championship seasons. The Cardinals also hold the Big East conference women's basketball paid attendance record with nearly 17, attending the game against the Kentucky Wildcats in The Louisville market has ranked first in ratings for the NCAA men's basketball tournament every year since In , sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson took the football team to new heights.
Lamar was the school's first Heisman Trophy winner, which is awarded to the most outstanding college football player nationwide during that season. He was also one of the youngest players to ever receive the award. The team also matched their highest ranking in school history at 3.
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The University of Louisville baseball team advanced to the College World Series in Omaha in , , and , as one of the final eight teams to compete for the national championship. Horse racing is also a major attraction. Churchill Downs is home to the Kentucky Derby , the largest sporting event in the state, as well as the Kentucky Oaks which together cap the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. Churchill Downs has also hosted the renowned Breeders' Cup on eight occasions, most recently in Louisville has seven professional and semi-professional sports teams, but no major league teams.
It is the fourth largest U. The team plays at Louisville Slugger Field at the edge of the city's downtown. The team made its debut in , playing home games at Louisville Slugger Field. That arrangement ended in , when Orlando City established a directly controlled reserve side in the USL. Louisville had two professional American football teams in the National Football League: The Colonels was one of the ABA's most successful teams during its existence, winning four division titles and the ABA Championship, but was not invited to join the NBA when the two leagues merged in , and subsequently folded.
Louisville has the added distinction of being the only city in the world that is the birthplace of four heavyweight boxing champions: Several of these parks were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted , who also designed New York City's Central Park as well as parks, parkways, college campuses and public facilities in many U. The Louisville Waterfront Park is prominently located on the banks of the Ohio River near downtown and features large open areas, which often hold free concerts and other festivals.
Further from the downtown area is the Jefferson Memorial Forest , which at 6, acres The park's namesake, Otter Creek, winds along the eastern side of the park. A scenic bend in the Ohio River , which divides Kentucky from Indiana , can be seen from northern overlooks within the park.
The park is a popular mountain biking destination, with trails maintained by a local mountain bike organization. Other outdoor points of interest in the Louisville area include Cave Hill Cemetery the burial location of Col. On January 6, , Louisville merged its government with that of Jefferson County, forming coterminous borders. Louisville Metro is governed by an executive called the Metro Mayor and a city legislature called the Metro Council. The Metro Council consists of 26 seats representing districts apportioned by population throughout the city and county.
The residents of the semi-independent municipalities within Louisville Metro are apportioned to districts along with all other county residents. Half 13 of the seats come up for reelection every two years. The council is chaired by a Council President , currently David Yates D , who is elected by the council members annually.
Democrats currently have a 17 to 9 seat majority on the council. Before merger, under the Kentucky Constitution and statutory law Louisville was designated as a first-class city in regard to local laws affecting public safety, alcohol beverage control, revenue options, and various other matters; as of , it is the only such designated city in the state. The Official Seal of the City of Louisville, no longer used following the merger, reflected its history and heritage in the fleur-de-lis representing French aid given during the Revolutionary War and the thirteen stars signifying the original colonies.
The new Seal of Louisville Metro retains the fleur-de-lis, but has only two stars, one representing the city and the other the county. Kentucky's 3rd congressional district encompasses most of Louisville Metro, and is represented by Rep. Far eastern portions of the county are part of the 4th congressional district , which is represented by Thomas Massie R.
In , Louisville recorded 70 murders. In , Louisville recorded 79 murders. The Louisville Metro Area's overall violent crime rate was Violent crime is most concentrated west of downtown, especially in the Russell neighborhood. Louisville Metro Department of Corrections operates two facilities housing approximately 2, inmates. Louisville has recently been featured on the television show First The show follows LMPD's homicide unit while they try to solve murders. Fire protection, which is not solely a Metro government function, is provided by 20 independent fire departments most of which are autonomous taxing districts working in concert through mutual aid agreements.
The independent city of Shively in western Jefferson County possesses a city-run department. The other 14 fire departments in Louisville-Jefferson County are taxing districts known collectively as the Jefferson County Fire Service. Louisville is home to several institutions of higher learning. The University of Louisville has had notable achievements including several hand transplants  and the world's first self-contained artificial heart transplant.
Two major graduate-professional schools of religion are also located in Louisville. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary , with more than 5, students, is the flagship institution of the Southern Baptist Convention. It was founded in Greenville, South Carolina, in and moved to Louisville in , occupying its present campus on Lexington Road in Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary , product of a merger of two predecessor schools founded at Danville, Kentucky in and in Louisville in , occupied its present campus on Alta Vista Road in According to the U.
Census , of Louisville's population over 25, The public school system, Jefferson County Public Schools , consists of more than , students in schools. The Kentucky School for the Blind , for all of Kentucky's blind and visually impaired students, is located on Frankfort Avenue in the Clifton neighborhood. Louisville's newspaper of record is The Courier-Journal. The alternative paper is the progressive alt-weekly Louisville Eccentric Observer commonly called 'LEO' , which was founded by 3rd district U.
Representative John Yarmuth D. This station was also formerly owned by the Binghams now iHeartMedia , and is a talk radio station which also broadcasts regional sports. As with most American cities, transportation in Louisville is based primarily on automobiles. However, the city traces its foundation to the era where the river was the primary means of transportation , and railroads have been an important part of local industry for over a century. In more recent times, Louisville has become an international hub for air cargo. Louisville has inner and outer interstate beltways, I and I respectively.
Since all three of these highways intersect at virtually the same location on the east side of downtown , this spot has become known as " Spaghetti Junction ". Two bridges carry I and I over the Ohio River, and a third automobile bridge carries non-interstate traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Immediately east of downtown is the Big Four Bridge , a former railroad bridge now renovated as a pedestrian bridge. The Ohio River Bridges Project , a plan under consideration for decades to construct two new interstate bridges over the Ohio River to connect Louisville to Indiana, including a reconfiguration of Spaghetti Junction, began construction in The airport is also home to UPS 's Worldport global air hub.
The historic but smaller Bowman Field is used mainly for general aviation while nearby Clark Regional Airport is used mostly by private jets. The locks were constructed to allow shipping past the Falls of the Ohio. In over 55 million tons of commodities passed through the locks.
In addition to regular city buses, transit throughout the downtown hotel and shopping districts is served by a fleet of zero-emissions buses called ZeroBus. In late , these vehicles replaced the series of motorized trolleys known as the Toonerville II Trolley. Louisville has historically been a major center for railway traffic.
Today the city is served by two major freight railroads, CSX with a major classification yard in the southern part of the metro area and Norfolk Southern. Five major main lines connect Louisville to the rest of the region. Two regional railroads, the Paducah and Louisville Railway and the Louisville and Indiana Railroad , also serve the city. With the discontinuance of the stop in Louisville in for a more northerly route between New York and Chicago, the Kentucky Cardinal no longer serves the city; it is thus the fifth largest city in the country with no passenger rail service.
In Walk Score ranked Louisville 43rd "most walkable" of U. Water is provided by the Louisville Water Company , which provides water to more than , residents in Louisville as well as parts of Oldham and Bullitt counties. Additionally, they provide wholesale water to the outlying counties of Shelby , Spencer and Nelson. The Ohio River provides for most of the city's source of drinking water. Water is drawn from the river at two points: Payne Pump Station northeast of Harrods Creek.
Water is also obtained from a riverbank infiltration well at the Payne Plant. There are also two water treatment plants serving the Louisville Metro area: Important events occurring in the city have included the first large space lighted by Edison's light bulb which occurred during the Southern Exposition.
At the time, in , the largest such installation to date. Also, Louisville had the first library open to African Americans in the South,   and medical advances including the first human hand transplant  and the first self-contained artificial heart transplant. Louisville has nine sister cities as of In addition, Leeds has been recognized as a "friendship city".
The two cities have engaged in many cultural exchange programs, particularly in the fields of nursing and law, and cooperated in several private business developments, including the Frazier History Museum. On April 15, , it was announced that Louisville would be twinned with the town of Bushmills in Northern Ireland. The two places share a tradition for the distilling of whiskey. The choice of Louisville came after a search of U. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For other uses, see Louisville disambiguation and Gateway to the South album. Consolidated city-county in Kentucky, United States. Also seen is the location of Louisville in the state of Kentucky. Louisville, Kentucky, in the American Civil War. Geography of Louisville, Kentucky. Cityscape of Louisville, Kentucky. Downtown Louisville ; Neighborhoods in Louisville, Kentucky ; List of parks in the Louisville metropolitan area ; and List of tallest buildings in Louisville. This section needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. Unless otherwise noted, all demographics refer to the consolidated Louisville Metro, including the separately incorporated cities within it. Religion in Louisville, Kentucky.
Economy of Louisville, Kentucky. List of attractions and events in the Louisville metropolitan area. List of museums in the Louisville metropolitan area and List of attractions and events in the Louisville metropolitan area. Performing arts in Louisville, Kentucky. Theater in Kentucky and List of attractions and events in the Louisville metropolitan area. Sports in Louisville, Kentucky. Historical professional sports teams in Louisville. List of parks in the Louisville metropolitan area and List of attractions and events in the Louisville metropolitan area.
Government of Louisville, Kentucky. Media in Louisville, Kentucky. Transportation in Louisville, Kentucky. Roads in Louisville, Kentucky. List of people from the Louisville metropolitan area. List of University of Louisville people. This replaced a system in which cities were divided into six classes, nominally by population. For more information, see Threadex.
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