Baton Rouge is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana and its second-largest city. It forms the parish seat of East Baton Rouge Parish and is located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. As the Capital city, Baton Rouge is the political hub for Louisiana, The urban area has around 594,309 inhabitants. Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, research, motion picture, The Baton Rouge area owes its historical importance to its strategic site upon the Istrouma Bluff, the first natural bluff upriver from the Mississippi River Delta. This allowed development of a business quarter safe from seasonal flooding. In addition, the city built a levee system stretching from the bluff southward to protect the riverfront and low-lying agricultural areas. The city is a culturally rich center, with settlement by immigrants from numerous European nations and African peoples. It was ruled by seven different governments: French, British, and Spanish in the colonial era, West Floridian, United States territory and state, Confederate, and United States again.