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The city was originally laid out in a grid pattern with the North Carolina State Capitol in Union Square at the center.During the United States Civil War, the city was spared from any significant battle.Clockwise from top left: NCSU bell tower, the North Carolina State Capitol, houses in Boylan Heights, houses in Historic Oakwood, statue of Sir Walter Raleigh, skyline of the downtown, Fayetteville Street, and the warehouse district is the capital of the state of North Carolina and the seat of Wake County in the United States.

Raleigh is one of the few cities in the United States that was planned and built specifically to serve as a state capital.

Raleigh was chosen as the site of the new capital in 1788, as its central location protected it from attacks from the coast.

It was officially established in 1792 as both county seat and state capital (incorporated on December 31, 1792 – charter granted January 21, 1795).

On January 5, 1771, the bill creating Wake County was passed in the General Assembly.

The county was formed from portions of Cumberland, Orange, and Johnston counties.

Major universities and colleges, in addition to those above, include Shaw University, the first historically black university in the American South. The colony had no permanent institutions of government until the new capital New Bern was established in 1743.

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