Greenbury Point was the first settled area in what is now Annapolis. The Puritans called it Providence when they arrived on the north side of the Severn River in 1649. By 1694, the first royal assembly meeting under Governor Sir Francis Nicholson designated the settlement on the south side of the Severn as the new capital city for the Province of Maryland. The city was rechristened Annapolis in 1695 in honor of King James II’s daughter and future queen of England, Princess Anne. Its translation is Anne’s City. The early waterfront settlement area has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Governor John Seymour incorporated Annapolis on November 22, 1708 on behalf of Queen Anne. The charter is the only one issued under the Royal seal in Maryland.
Annapolis is home to many "firsts" in Maryland. It is the oldest incorporated city in the State. It is home to the first parochial libraries, and the colony’s first newspaper, the Maryland Gazette. The United States Naval Academy was founded in Annapolis in 1845. The State House is the oldest capitol in continuous legislative use in the country. It is topped by the largest wooden dome in the United States.
The Historic District of Annapolis is comprised of approximately 45 blocks and is 1/3 of a square mile in size. The entire City of Annapolis encompasses 6.7 square miles.