Western Pennsylvania is a region in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, covering the western third of the state. Pittsburgh is the region's principal city and serves as its economic and cultural center. Erie, Altoona, and Johnstown are its other metropolitan centers.
Although the Commonwealth does not designate Western Pennsylvania as an official region, since colonial times it has retained a distinct identity not only because of its geographical distance from Philadelphia, the beginning of Pennsylvania settlement, but especially because of its topographical separation from the east by virtue of the Appalachian Mountains, which characterize much of the western region.The strong cultural identity of Western Pennsylvania is reinforced by the state supreme court holding sessions in Pittsburgh, in addition to Harrisburg and Philadelphia.
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