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  • New Bern, North Carolina
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    New Bern,

    North Carolina

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      New Bern, formerly called Newbern, is a city in Craven County, North Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 29,524, which had risen to an estimated 29,994 as of 2019. It is the county seat of Craven County and the principal city of the New Bern Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is located at the confluence of the Neuse and the Trent rivers, near the North Carolina coast. It lies 112 miles (180 km) east of Raleigh, 80 miles (130 km) north of Wilmington, and 162 miles (261 km) south of Norfolk. New Bern is the birthplace of Pepsi. New Bern was settled in 1710 by the Palatines and Swiss under the leadership of Christoph von Graffenried. The new colonists named their settlement after Bern, the Swiss region from which many of the colonists and their patron had emigrated. The English connection with Switzerland had been established by some Marian exiles who sought refuge in Protestant parts of Switzerland. There were also marriages between the House of Stuart and notable people in the history of Calvinism. The colonists later discovered they had started their settlement on the site of a former Tuscarora village named Chattoka. This caused conflicts with the Tuscaroras who were in the area. New Bern is the second-oldest European settled colonial town in North Carolina, after Bath. It served as the capital of North Carolina from 1770 to 1792. After the American Revolution (1775–1783), New Bern became wealthy and quickly developed a rich cultural life. At one time New Bern was called "the Athens of the South," renowned for its Masonic Temple and Athens Theater. These are both still very active today. New Bern has four historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places; their numerous contributing buildings include residences, stores and churches dating back to the early eighteenth century. Within walking distance of the waterfront are more than 164 homes and buildings listed on the National Register. Also nearby are several bed and breakfasts, hotels, restaurants, banks, antiques stores and specialty shops. The historic districts contain many of the city's 2,000 crape myrtles—its official flower—and developed gardens. New Bern has two "Local Historic Districts", a municipal zoning overlay that affords legal protection to the exteriors of New Bern's historic structures.
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