Latrobe is the second-largest city in Etnier. Located in the plains of southeastern Etnier on the Yalumba river, Latrobe has a city centre population of 2,754,220 (2004 census) and a metropolitan area population of 3.8 million, making it one of the largest cities in Kelssek as well as a large commercial and industrial centre, particularly in communications and automobile manufacturing. Latrobe experiences a relatively mild continental climate, with cold winters.
The city is known for being a centre for sports and artistic events. Latrobe is home to the Kelssekian Centre for the Moving Image, which is one of Kelssek's premiere showcases for Kelssekian filmmakers, and the National Gallery of Etnier, the province's largest art collection. Rugby union is extremely popular in Latrobe and it is home to Latrobe AFC, Kelssek's oldest rugby club and one of the most successful, which also has a professional football division. It also has a professional KHL team, Internationale.
The city of Latrobe first existed as a distinct entity in 1603, although evidence of settlement in the area dates back for at least 20,000 years. The riverside location is known to have been a prime hunting ground at the time and archaeologists speculate that an unusually large number of human skeletons in the area is evidence that the site was the subject of intense conflict and warfare by early tribes.
The city is known to have been directly under the control of various members of the royal houses which ruled Etnier through the feudal monarchy, and it was historically the primate city and centre of commerce and trade in the region. However, Latrobe gradually lost this position to Clayquot during the 1940s and the city experienced a decline in both population and importance, eventually being overtaken as the province's largest city in 1979. However, there has been signs of a reversal of this since the early 21st century, driven in part by the city's efforts to promote tourism and host large events.
Latrobers are very fervent about their sport; as the joke in other parts of the country goes, it is the city where people who care about sports too much are exiled. Consider that Kelssekians in general are often already regarded as sports nuts, and you begin to understand just how deeply the culture runs in Latrobe.
Rugby union is by far the city's favourite sport. In addition to Latrobe AFC, which is one of the most hallowed of the city's institutions, since 2009 the city has had a second team in Kelssek's highest level of professional rugby, Glen Eira FC. Six more teams in the Latrobe metro area play in the KRF National League, the second-highest level of rugby union. On any given weekend, one is likely to spot an inordinate number of scarves and other items of clothing bearing the colours and logos of one of these teams.
Ice hockey is also popular in Latrobe, as it generally is across Kelssek. Internationale (also commonly known as Inter Latrobe) play home games at the Polaris Arena. Latrobe is also represented in the Kelssek Water Polo League by the Dolphins and in the Kelssek Football League by the football division of Latrobe AFC. Wintersports activities are also within easy reach, with several mountain resorts accessible within four hours by train from the city centre.
|Latrobe's trams are the backbone of its public transit system.|
Latrobe has an extensive tram network as well as commuter rail; the trams in particular are regarded as one of the city's icons. However, for a Kelssekian city its public transportation is severely underdeveloped, with only 35% of commuter trips by public transport. Plans are underway for the building of a new subway system which is expected to be ready by 2011.
The city has inter-city rail services provided by Kelssekian Pacific Railway and VIA Rail, which both stop at the city's iconic Flinders Street station. By road, it is accessible from the north and south using the Trans Kelssek Highway, from Redswyth to the southeast. Etnier Highway 75 joins the Trans Kelssek at Latrobe and proceeds north to Clayquot. Etnier Highway 33 runs east-west and connects Latrobe to Fort Hope in the west on the provincial border with Surono and Kewatin in the east.
Latrobe's main daily newspaper is The International. Also published in Latrobe is the Economic Review, which focuses on economic news and is published six times a week.
The Etnier Free Press, published in Clayquot but covering news throughout the province, is also widely available in Latrobe. A tabloid-size paper Latrobe Post is available for free daily and is aimed at mass transit users.
Latrobe is home to three universities:
- University of Latrobe, a large comprehensive university, the second-largest university in the province.
- Bill Watterson University, a fine arts and design university.
- Latrobe Institute of Technology, specialising in computer science and technological research.
Latrobe is twinned with: