Florence is a city in, and the county seat of, Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States, in the state’s northwest corner. It is situated along the Tennessee River. According to the 2010 census, the city’s population was 39,319. Florence is the largest and principal city of the Florence-Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area commonly known as “The Shoals” (which includes the cities of Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia in Colbert and Lauderdale counties). Florence is considered northwestern Alabama’s primary economic hub. Annual tourism events include the W. C. Handy Music Festival in the summer and the Renaissance Faire in the fall. Landmarks in Florence include the Rosenbaum House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home located in Alabama.
Florence was surveyed for the Cypress Land Company in 1818 by Italian surveyor Ferdinand Sannoner, who named it after Florence, the capital of the Tuscany region of Italy. Florence, Alabama was incorporated in 1826.Florence Female Academy was established in Florence in 1847. By the 1850s, the school was converted into the Florence Synodical Female College. It closed in 1893. A historical marker commemorates the site.Situated in Florence, and founded in 1830 as LaGrange College, the University of North Alabama, a public, co-educational, higher education institution, is Alabama’s oldest state-certified university. The University is the largest in North Alabama , with an enrollment topping 7,000 for the first time in 2007.
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