Hot town rising

Razed and reconstructed during the Civil War, Atlanta has grown to become a commercial powerhouse, an Olympian city and the unofficial capital of the South.

Atlanta was chosen as the state capital in 1868 and served as the headquarters of the Reconstruction administration.

Joseph Sohm / ChromoSohm Inc.

A whale shark swims in the Ocean Quest exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium, the world's largest.

Barry Williams / Getty Images North America

The tomb of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., is reflected in the pool surrounding it. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site -- which includes King's birthplace, grave and the Ebenezer Baptist Church -- draws visitors from around the world.

John Bazemore / AP

Pedestrians enter CNN Center, headquarters of the cable-news network.

Ric Feld / AP

A visitor looks at Deborah Butterfield's piece "untitled" in the High Museum of Art.

Ric Feld / AP

Visitors enter the "World of Coca-Cola," a museum dedicated to the ubiquitous beverage.

Ric Feld / AP

The Atlanta Braves take the field against the New York Mets.

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images North America

Yang Yang, a male giant panda, munches on a piece of bamboo in his habitat at Zoo Atlanta.

Ric Feld / AP

Atlanta at dusk.

James Randklev