Clockwise from top left: Christ Church, University Hall at Harvard University, Ray and Maria Stata Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Cambridge skyline and Charles River at night, and Cambridge City Hall Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Boston metropolitan area.Situated directly north of the city of Boston, across the Charles River, it was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders.Its first preacher was Thomas Hooker, who led many of its original inhabitants west to found the Connecticut Colony; before leaving, however, they sold their plots to more recent immigrants from England.The original village site is in the heart of today's Harvard Square.In May 1638 Hooker and Shepard, Newtowne's ministers, and the college's first president, major benefactor, and first schoolmaster were all Cambridge alumni, as was the colony's governor John Winthrop.The town included a much larger area than the present city, In 1636, the Newe College (later renamed Harvard College after benefactor John Harvard) was founded by the colony to train ministers.
According to the 2010 Census, the city's population was 105,162.
The site for what would become Cambridge was chosen in December 1630, because it was located safely upriver from Boston Harbor, which made it easily defensible from attacks by enemy ships.
Thomas Dudley, his daughter Anne Bradstreet, and her husband Simon, were among the first settlers of the town. The settlement was initially referred to as "the newe towne".
Located at the first convenient Charles River crossing west of Boston, Newe Towne was one of a number of towns (including Boston, Dorchester, Watertown, and Weymouth), founded by the 700 original Puritan colonists of the Massachusetts Bay Colony under governor John Winthrop.
Cambridge is home to two of the world's most prominent universities, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Cambridge has also been home to Radcliffe College, once one of the leading colleges for women in the United States before it merged with Harvard.