Worcester ( /wʊstər/ wuss-tər) is a city and the county seat of Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. Named after Worcester, England, as of the 2010 Census the city's population is 181,045, making it the second largest city in New England after Boston. Worcester is located approximately 40 miles (64 km) west of Boston, and 38 miles (61 km) northeast of Springfield. Due to its location in central Massachusetts, amidst Massachusetts' major metropolitan regions, Worcester is known as the "Heart of the Commonwealth," thus, a heart is the official symbol of the city.
Worcester was considered its own region for centuries; however, with the encroachment of Boston's suburbs, it now marks the western periphery of the Boston-Worcester-Manchester (MA-RI-NH) U.S. Census Combined Statistical Area (CSA) (Greater Boston). The city features many fine examples of Victorian-era mill architecture.
The Pakachoag tribe of the Nipmuc nation of Native Americans were the indigenous settlers of the area. They called it Quinsigamond, meaning "fishing place for pickerel." Lake Quinsigamond provided fine hunting and fishing grounds a short distance from their main village near a spring on Pakachoag Hill in what is now Auburn. Mt. Wachusett was their sacred place.