Columbia: The Soda City with a Rich History and Culture

Columbia is the capital and second-largest city of South Carolina, located in the heart of the state. It is also known as the Soda City, a nickname derived from the abbreviation of Columbia to Cola. But there is more to Columbia than just soda. It is a city with a long and diverse history, a vibrant and diverse culture, and a variety of attractions and activities for visitors and residents alike. In this article, we will explore some of the most interesting facts about Columbia, its past, its present, and its future. We will also learn about some of the hidden gems and curiosities that make Columbia a unique and fascinating destination.

Founding and Planning

One of the most remarkable facts about Columbia is that it is the first planned capital city in America. It was founded in 1786 by the state legislature, who wanted to create a new seat of government that would be centrally located and accessible to all parts of the state. The city was designed by a French engineer named Pierre L’Enfant, who later went on to design Washington, D.C. The original plan of Columbia consisted of a grid of streets and blocks, with a large public square at the center, where the State House would be built. The State House, which still stands today, is a majestic building that features a copper dome and six bronze stars that mark the spots where it was hit by cannonballs during the Civil War.

Another interesting fact about Columbia is that it is home to the world’s largest fire hydrant. The 40-foot-tall, 675,000-pound hydrant was created by artist Blue Sky in 2001 as part of a public art project. The hydrant is located on Taylor Street, near the Columbia Museum of Art, and is painted with black spots to resemble a Dalmatian. The hydrant is also functional, and can spray water up to 75 feet in the air.

What Columbia Is Known For

Columbia is also known for its thriving arts and culture scene, which includes several museums, theaters, festivals, and events. Some of the most popular attractions include the Columbia Museum of Art, which houses a collection of European and American art from the Renaissance to the present; the South Carolina State Museum, which features exhibits on natural history, science, technology, and culture; the Nickelodeon Theatre, which is the only non-profit art house cinema in the state; and the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, which is one of the most visited zoos in the Southeast.

Columbia also hosts several annual festivals and events that celebrate the city’s diversity and heritage. Some of the most notable ones include the South Carolina State Fair, which is the largest event in the state and attracts more than 400,000 visitors every October; the Columbia International Festival, which showcases the food, music, dance, and culture of more than 50 countries every April; the Indie Grits Festival, which is a four-day celebration of independent film, music, art, and gaming every March; and the Famously Hot New Year, which is the largest free New Year’s Eve party in the state and features live music, fireworks, and a countdown to midnight.


Columbia is a city that has something for everyone, whether you are looking for history, nature, culture, or entertainment. It is a city that embraces its past, celebrates its present, and looks forward to its future. It is a city that is famously hot, but also famously cool. It is a city that is Columbia.

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