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The city also has the corporate headquarters of Norfolk Southern Railway, one of North America's principal Class I railroads, and Maersk Line, Limited, which manages the world's largest fleet of US-flag vessels.
As the city is bordered by multiple bodies of water, Norfolk has many miles of riverfront and bayfront property, including beaches on the Chesapeake Bay.
Clockwise from top: Downtown Norfolk skyline as viewed from across the Elizabeth River, USS Wisconsin battleship museum, Ocean View Pier, The Tide light rail, ships at Naval Station Norfolk, historic homes in Ghent making it the second-most populous city in Virginia after neighboring Virginia Beach.
Norfolk is located at the core of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, named for the large natural harbor of the same name located at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.
One year later, it was split into two counties, Upper Norfolk and Lower Norfolk (the latter is incorporated within present-day City of Norfolk), chiefly on Thoroughgood's recommendation.
The city is bordered to the west by the Elizabeth River and to the north by the Chesapeake Bay.
In 1634 King Charles I reorganized the colony into a system of shires.
The former Elizabeth Cittie became Elizabeth City Shire.
The city has a long history as a strategic military and transportation point.
The largest Navy base in the world, Naval Station Norfolk, is located in Norfolk along with one of NATO's two Strategic Command headquarters.In 1804, another serious fire along the city's waterfront destroyed some 300 buildings and the city suffered a serious economic setback.