Read about the city

Liverpool is one of England's most interesting cities to visit, and many travelers already have an some knowledge of not least the cultural and sporting life before coming to town. The Beatles with Paul McCartney and John Lennon at the forefront are from here, as are the city's two football flagship clubs Liverpool FC and Everton.

Liverpool, of course, is far more than football and music. It is known as a cathedral city with two of the most spectacular church buildings in the country. The majestic Anglican Liverpool Cathedral and the Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral in modern architecture are both some of the landmarks of the city.

There are also many museums here. Some are centered around the former docks, which have been renovated, and now stand as one of the major tourist spots with both history, shopping and tasty gastronomic experiences. And of course, Liverpool as a maritime city can be discovered at a visit to the Docks Maritime Museum.

Liverpool's location on the banks of the Mersey River is beautiful, and some of the city's most famous buildings are here, with Pier Head and the Royal Liver Building and Albert Dock's interesting museums a short walk away. It is by the way on the Royal Liver Building that you can see the so-called Liver Birds.

From Liverpool, it is not far to the high seas, to Wales' hilly terrain or to another of the area's major cities such as Manchester. Chester is also close to Liverpool and with many sights it is a nice destination for an interesting day trip.

Other attractions

Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool

  • Metropolitan Cathedral: Metropolitan Cathedral is Liverpool's Roman Catholic Cathedral. It is located high on a hill in the city at the end of Hope Street, which in its line runs from the Anglican Liverpool Cathedral.
  • Royal Liver Building: The 90-meter/295-foot-tall Royal Liver Building is one of Liverpool's landmarks and considered by many to be the most beautiful building on Pier Head and in the city. It was the seat of the Royal Liver Group.

Chinatown, Liverpool

  • Chinatown: On Duke Street at the entrance to Nelson Street, you can see a Chinese gate as a symbol of the Chinese neighborhood of Chinatown, which is one of the oldest of its kind in Europe.
  • Museum of Liverpool: The Museum of Liverpool is Liverpool's city museum, but its exhibition extends far beyond the city's own borders. The city's importance in world trade and shipping is a theme as well.

St Luke's Church, Liverpool

  • St. Luke's Church: St. Luke's Church is a church that was built from 1811 and consecrated in 1832. At the so-called Liverpool Blitz during World War II, the church was hit by a firebomb in 1941, and it still stands as a ruin in memory of the blitz.
  • Empire Theater: The Empire Theater is Liverpool's largest theater with room for more than 2,300 spectators. The theater opened as the second theater on the site in 1925 and is built in a stately design.

Wellington's Column, Liverpool

  • Wellington's Column: Wellington’s Column is a pillar erected in 1874-1875 to commemorate Arthur Wellesley's victories during the Napoleonic Wars. Wellesley had the title Duke of Wellington, and hence the name of the pillar.
  • St George's Hall: The great St George's Hall is one of Liverpool's largest older buildings. Like a colossal temple in neoclassicism, it lies and almost reigns in the middle of the construction of public buildings in this part of the city.

Radio City Tower, Liverpool

  • Radio City Tower: The 148 meter/486 foot high tower Radio City Tower opened in 1969 with the name St. John’s Beacon. Since then it has got its current name and from the tower there is a fine view of Liverpool..
  • The Cavern Club: The Cavern Club is the rock and roll club in the center of Liverpool, where the Beatles' later manager, Brian Epstein, was introduced to the band in 1961.
  • Town Hall: This is the city's beautiful town hall, built 1749-1754. There is a façade with Corinthian columns both towards Castle Street and on the opposite side.

Tate Liverpool

  • Tate Liverpool: The Tate Liverpool Art Museum is a department of the Tate Museums in London. It is now one of the country's leaders outside of London in modern art.
  • Liverpool FC Museum and Stadium Tour: When John Houlding established the club Liverpool F.C. and home ground Anfield in 1892, he laid the foundation stone for a great success. Today you can visit the club's museum and stadium.
History overview

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    The city's founding
    Liverpool's official history dates back to 1207, where documents signed by King John announce that a settlement named "Livpul" will be established where people were invited to settle.

    It is believed that the king wanted to get a port city in the area which was not under the Earl's control, and Livpul lay with easy access to the sea and for sailing to Ireland.

    A defense work was erected, Liverpool Castle, in 1235, and already in these early years of the city's history it was used as a shipping port for troops to Ireland.

    Very early, a marketplace was also set up where the migrants traded fish and agricultural products. This was the case for a couple of centuries, when Liverpool was just a small village. In the mid-1300s, around 1,000 inhabitants lived here, and that was even in good times.

    Thus, in the 16th century, the population had dropped to about 600, and while local trade was going on, the town was considered inferior to Chester.

    City growth
    Towards the End of the 16th Century, it was a smaller town that lay at the mouth of the River Merseys. With just 600 residents and still tougher economic times, the city's citizens wrote to Queen Elizabeth I asking for a tax cut.

    That time should prove to be the low point in Liverpool's development, soon after growth and new trade opportunities appeared.

    The 17th century brought flourishing with rising trade. From the outset, the good location for a port was now beginning to gain momentum, and thus the trade increasingly moved from the city of Chester to Liverpool. Increasing sanding of the River Dee accelerated this development as Chester became less accessible to the merchant ships.

    In 1626, King Charles I granted Liverpool a number of extended mercantile rights, further stimulating trade from here to Ireland, the Isle of Man and other places such as America. The first cargo from America was landed in 1648, and within a few years considerable sailing developed in the West Indies and British America. By that time Liverpool had already grown significantly since the hard times of the 16th century.

    Atlantic and slave traffic
    Ship traffic and the many jobs that came with it caused new residents to settle in Liverpool, which grew rapidly. So did the industry, for example, the first sugar refinery was opened in 1670. The sugar came with other goods such as tobacco with the ships, and from Liverpool's port sailed with coal, salt and textiles. By this time Liverpool had become one of the most important English cities outside London.

    In 1699 was the year when the first slave ship, the "Liverpool Merchant", sailed from Liverpool. Of course, there were no slaves from England, but it was a triangular trip between Liverpool, Africa and America, and on the first trip 220 African slaves were set off in Barbados.

    The harbor was constantly expanded and in 1715 the world's first wet dock was built here. The capacity was 100 ships, which was a huge number at that time.

    At the same time as the port's expansion, the resident merchant fleet increased significantly. Thus, by the end of the 18th century, 40% of the world's and 80% of England's lucrative slave traffic was associated with Liverpool. The peak was reached in 1799, when 45,000 slaves were sailed. The big profit turned Liverpool into a financial center that only the city of Bristol could compete with outside London; Bristol's economy was also in positive development due to slaves. The slave trade for English colonies continued in the early 1800s and was completed in 1834.

    The marked growth and internationalization through trade created the basis for new connections, and in 1790 the United States opened the world's first consulate in the port city.

    Urban development and industrialization
    Throughout the 18th century, the population increased from 6,000 to 80,000, and Liverpool had become well connected with neighboring people; eg with a canal to Manchester in 1721 and small 100 years later to Leeds. Various institutions sprang up, and by 1726 the old 12th-century Liverpool Castle had been demolished to give way to the ambitions of the new city. Today, you can only see the street name Castle Street as a reminder of the castle and its location. Castle Street was the historic capital city from which the city grew significantly during the 1700s-1800s.

    The 19th century was thus the sign of growth and industrialization. Industries, more inhabitants and more trade became commonplace. In 1830, the world's first railway line opened between two major urban areas; the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, and in the period 1824-1858 16 kilometers of new berths were built in the city's now large port.

    In 1845-1849 there was a famine in Ireland, and in a few years so many Irish people came to Liverpool that the Irish population reached 25%. Their imprint on the city is still a legacy that can be seen and found in the city today; eg with the Catholic cathedral.

    Liverpool's international importance and prestige in the mid-19th century led to the erection of a number of stately buildings that signal a rich city. St. George's Hall from 1854 is an example of this, and in 1892 the city's university building was inaugurated.

    The 20th Century to Today
    The 20th Century began as another century of growth and optimism. Immigrants poured in from Wales and Italy, among others, and several buildings were erected; such as the Anglican Liverpool Cathedral and the city's perhaps best known buildings on Pier Head with the Royal Liver Building at the forefront. The seafaring continued to be significant, the city being home to the shipping companies Cunard and White Star Line, whose flagship, HMS Titanic, was registered here and which was originally to be sailed from here and not from Southampton.

    It was the recession of the economic crisis that hit the world and Liverpool in the 1920s. Unemployment became commonplace for a city that had otherwise seen uninterrupted growth for several centuries.

    During World War II, Liverpool was hit by many bombings due to the industry and not least the important port. 2,700 lost their lives, and in large areas many houses were damaged. Central Liverpool was badly hit by the German Liverpool Lightning, which struck in the period 28 August 1940-10. January 1942.

    In the post-war period, the city was quickly rebuilt, but many jobs had disappeared and trade in the otherwise busy port did not develop positively. From having had 850,000 citizens in the 1930s, only 460,000 remained in 1985, some of which lived in new suburbs.

    Meanwhile, the culture flourished. It was in the 1960s that the so-called Merseybeat emerged in music, and with it one of the world's greatest musical names; Liverpool group The Beatles. On the sporting side, the city's flagship, Liverpool FC also won many trophies for the city, which also put on the world map.

    The economic low reached the city in the 1980s. A large debt, high unemployment, crime, riots and football violence were part of Liverpool, but since the 1990s things have changed significantly. The city is again experiencing high growth, this time with tourism and cultural life as a dynamo. The city's docks were listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2004 and in 2008 had the status of European Capital of Culture.
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Liverpool, UK

Top attractions

Liverpool Cathedral

  • Liverpool Cathedral: The Anglican Liverpool Cathedral is majestically elevated above the city on the hill St. James Mount. It is one of England's largest churches and an impressive building in every respect. From the tower there is an unforgettable view of the city and the sea.
  • Pier Head: Pier Head is the name of the quay area where, among other things, George’s Dock used to be. The place is not least known for the three beautiful and quite different buildings that make up the so-called "Three Graces".

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

  • Walker Art Gallery: The Walker Art Gallery houses one of the largest art collections in England outside London, and rightfully the place also calls itself the National Gallery of Northern England.
  • Albert Dock: The Albert Dock is the focal point of Liverpool's historic docks, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building materials in the beautifully preserved area are mainly brick and cast iron.

Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool

  • Merseyside Maritime Museum: This maritime museum is located in the heart of the historic dock area of Albert Dock. Here you can experience some interesting exhibitions and stories about the city of Liverpool's long maritime history.
Trips in the area

Speke Hall, Liverpool

  • Speke Hall: The Speke Hall residence is a building constructed in a distinguished Tudor style. The current Speke Hall was built from 1530. The decor is beautiful with many details from a bygone era.

Chester Cathedral

  • Chester: The city of Chester was founded by the Romans around the year 70 with the name Deva Victrix. Today you can e.g. see Chester Cathedral, old medieval walls and the so-called Chester Rows, which are old rows of houses.
  • Manchester: With more than two million inhabitants, Manchester is one of England's largest urban areas outside London, and as a tourist you will experience an exciting and flourishing cultural life and a lot of museums and activities.

Peak District National Park, England

  • Peak District National Park: The Peak District is a national park located between the cities of Manchester, Stoke, Derby and Sheffield. The landscape is beautiful with large and varied natural areas and many beautiful views.
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