Early Adelaide was shaped by religious freedom and a commitment to political progressivism and civil liberties, which led to the moniker "City of Churches".
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide is north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the Adelaide Plains between the Gulf St Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges. The city stretches 20 km (12 mi) from the coast to the foothills, and 90 km (56 mi) from Gawler at its northern extent to Sellicks Beach in the south.
Adelaide is a blend of historic buildings, wide streets, parklands, cafes and restaurants, with rolling hills to the east and beaches to the west. Adelaide is noted for its many festivals and sporting events, its food and wine, its long beachfronts, and its large defence and manufacturing sectors.
A number of creeks and rivers flow through the Adelaide region. The largest are the Torrens and Onkaparinga catchments. Adelaide has had wide multi-lane roads from its beginning, an easily navigable grid layout and a beautiful green ring around the city centre.
The renowned Adelaide Festival of Arts and Fringe Festival were established in 1960. Other festivals include FEAST (a queer culture celebration), Tasting Australia (a biennial food and wine affair), and the Royal Adelaide Show (an annual agricultural show and state fair).