Facts About the City of Liverpool
With an area of 43.2 sq miles and an estimated population of 500,000 Liverpool is ranked as the fourth largest city in the United Kingdom.
Records show that there has been a settlement in the area since the first century.
The name Liverpool means ' muddy water', a term attributed to the colour of the River Mersey, the river with which the city was built beside.
The city flourished and grew by means of it's port, a port that only two hundred years ago, handled 40% of the world's entire shipping cargoes and was considered the most important port and docks in the world.
It was in Liverpool that the world's first ' wet dock ' was built, in 1715.
A wet dock is an area, similar to a lock, where the water level remains the same at all times, irreguardless of the ebb and flow of the tide, therefore allowing ships to be loaded and unloaded 24 hours a day.
Liverpool merchants made their fortune from wool, sugar, bananas, tobacco and the slave trade.
Their fortunes shaped the city with buildings considered some of the world's finest examples of Neo - Classical architecture, which today is hailed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Liverpool Maritime Merchantile City.
Today the city houses 2,500 listed buildings, 250 public monuments, 2, cathedrals,the largest floating quay in the world and the largest Chinese Arch outside china.
Liverpool was granted city status in 1880, and heralded as an international World Heritage Site in 2004.
The city is divided into 30 wards or districts and houses seven international embassys.
The city is not affiliated to any county within the United Kingdom and therefore it's official title is The Municipal and Metropolitan Borough of Liverpool, with it's outlying areas known as Greater Liverpool which is given the ceremonial title of Merseyside.
In 2008 the city became European Capital of Culture, a year long event that celebrated Liverpool's history, culture and sporting and musical achievements.
Albion House, former H/Q of White Star Line, owners of the ill fated Titanic.
( Read about Liverpool's connection with the Titanic)
Liverpool is home to the oldest Black African community in Britain,a community which has been flourishing in the city since the early 1700's.
Black slaves brought to Liverpool in order to be transported to the New World and the Caribbean, were given safe passage into the city after 1722, when slavery had been abolished.
Liverpool is home to Europe's oldest Chinese community. Chinese seamen made their home in Liverpool in the early 19th century. With their population today of over 25,000, the Chinese and Eurasian communities are the largest non white communities in the city.
The Chinese archway into Liverpool's Chinatown is 35 feet high, making it the largest Chinese arch outside of china.
Westower, Liverpool's tallest building.
97% of Liverpool's population is white, with 20% of it's white population having an Irish or Welsh ancestry.
At the time of Ireland's great famine in the 1830's, Liverpool was home to over 2 million Irish born people.
In popular culture today, Liverpool is often referred to as the Capital of Ireland, although it no longer holds the title of British city with the largest Irish community, it's Celtic influence is still very strong in the city and records state that 10% of all Liverpudlians have at least one Irish grandparent.
LIVERPOOL'S THREE GRACES.
Liverpool's Three Graces, situated on the waterfront, are from left to right,The Royal Liver Building, that's the one with the birds on top, the Cunard Building and the Port Of Liverpool Authority building.
THE LIVER BIRDS.
The Liver ( pronounced lyvr ) Birds, have been a symbol of Liverpool since the 12 th century.
The two birds that stand aloft the Royal Liver Building, holding seaweed in their beaks, are apparantly a male and a female cormorant.
Legend states that they must not face one another, for fear of them falling in love and flying away together. Should this happen, Liverpool will surely crumble and die.
The birds were designed and made by German sculptor Carl Bernard Bartels in 1911.
They are made of copper and stand 18 feet high.
AERIEL VIEW OF LIVERPOOL WATERFRONT.
Liverpool is accessed by way of it's international port, international airport. Lime Street Railway station and three tunnels built under the River Mersey.
Liverpool was once the largest passenger port in the world for trans Atlantic crossings. Today the Port of Liverpool caters only to trans Irish Sea crossings, with daily sailings to Dublin, Belfast and the isle-of-man.
It's Liverpool Lime Street railway station was built in 1836, and is so called after workmen found evidence of lime kilns and pottery works buried deep below the building site.
Liverpool has three under Mersey Tunnels linking the city to it's neighbour across the water, The Wirral Peninsula.
The first road tunnel was completed in 1934. it was opened by King George VI, and called the Queensway Tunnel.
The second tunnel was completed in 1971, opened by Queen Elisabeth II and called the Kingsway Tunnel.
The two, two mile long tunnels are operated by a toll system and policed by it's own police force.
The third tunnel is a rail tunnel and was opened in 1886, as a means to bring holiday makers to the seaside towns of New Brighton, Hoylake and West Kirby on the Wirral Peninsula.
Today the tunnel is part of the Liverpool metro system, which is the busiest commuter metro system in the country outside london, carrying over 100,000 people every day.
Liverpool City metro runs on a loop system, that consists of 6.5 miles of track with five city centre stations.
Travel across the River Mersey is also possible, by way of it's three Mersey Ferries, once the busiest route between Liverpool and the Wirral Peninsula.
Today the ferry service, albeit still very busy, is used mainly by tourists to the area.
ST GEORGES HALL.
Liverpool was the first city in the United Kingdom to build a mosque in 1887, it's Anglican Cathedral, designed by Giles Gilbert Scott ( A Catholic ) and completed in 1904 is the largest in Britain, and fifth largest in the world, and it's Catholic Cathedral, designed by Fredrick Gibberd ( An Anglican ) which was completed in 1967, houses the largest stained glass panel in the world.This cathedral is also officially called the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, but known locally as Paddy's Wigwam.
Liverpool's oldest building is Speke Hall, a timber framed Tudor house completed in 1598.
Liverpool's tallest building is the WestTower, situated in the financial district, completed in 2008, the 40 storey tower is 459 feet high.
The city's World Heritage Site consists of six locations, Pier Head, Albert Dock, Stanley Dock, it's world famous Waterfront that houses the three buildings known as Liverpool's Three Graces, the cultural centre of William Brown Street and the Castle Street / Dale Street area.
Liverpool's Empire Theatre, built in 1925 is the largest two tier theatre in the United Kingdom.
Liverpool's four star Adelphi Hotel, first built in 1826 and refurbished again in 1912, is Liverpool's largest, most elegant and most prestigious hotel.
Liverpool's St George's Hall is considered to be the best example of Neo - Classical architecture in Europe and the finest example of Neo - Greek architecture in the world.
The building was designed by London born architect Harvey Lonsdale Elmes.
Building work commenced in 1841 and it was opened by Queen Victoria in 1854.
Today it is a grade 1 listed building, surrounded by parkland which contains the Liverpool Cenotaph and a statue of St George.It is situated in the heart of the city right outside the main entrance to Liverpool Lime Street station, making it the first thing visitors see when arriving in the city, by rail.
THE MERSEY BORE AT RUNCORN.
LIVERPOOL RIVER MERSEY.
The city of Liverpool is built upon the banks of the River Mersey, it is this river that has led Liverpool to prosper and flourish.
The River Mersey's source is located in Stockport, Greater Manchester and travels for 68 miles before draining into the Irish Sea at Liverpool Bay.
The river has ten tributaries and is five miles wide at it's widest point, where it drains into the Manchester Ship Canal at the point of the Mersey - Irwell confluence.
The river has a neap tide of 12 feet and a spring tide of 30 feet, making it the second highest tidal bore in the United Kingdom and the fourth in the world.
This bore whips up sand from the river bed, turning the river a brown colour, the colour of liver, hence the title, Liverpool.
Due to the industry that has flourished along it's course, the River Mersey was one of the most heavilly polluted rivers in the country, but in recent years it has been cleaned up, and is now the home of River Trout, River Salmon and the Atlantic Grey Seal.
The river is considered sacred to British Hindus and is treated with the same reverence of that of the River Ganges.
ANFIELD. GOODISON PARK.
Of course one cannot mention Liverpool without mentioning football.
The city has two world class football clubs.
Everton, they play in a blue and white strip, and their football ground is located at Goodison Park in the Everton district of the city.
The club was founded in 1878 and has one of the largest fan bases of any team in the country.
The team has remained in the country's top football division since 1954.
Liverpool Football Club, they play in the red strip, is the number one football club in the land.
The club has gained more titles, won more awards and is hailed as the most prolific and successful football club in the history of British football.
The club was founded in 1892 after an internal dispute within the Everton Football Club.
Their football ground is located in the Anfield district of the city.
CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL. ANGLICAN CATHEDRAL.
.LIVERPOOL MUSIC CULTURE.
Liverpool is the home of Merseybeat Music, a genre of music that rose to fame in the 1960's.
Merseybeat music hailed the second wave of rock and roll and paved the way for the popular music culture that we all know today
It is the home of the Beatles, once the most famous pop group in the world and most prominent musicians of the Merseybeat scene.
The music venue where they first performed live, The Cavern Club is one of Liverpool's top tourist attractions.
The Cavern Club is situated in Liverpool's cultural centre and includes the Merseybeat Music Wall of Fame, a statue of John Lennon ( member of the Beatles ) the Beatles Shop and the Beatles Hotel.
Two of the Beatles songs, Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane, are both named after districts in Liverpool.
Other world famous Merseybeat artistes from the city are Cilla Black, The Searchers and Gerry and the Pacemakers.
THE MERSEY FERRY. CHINATOWN'S ARCHWAY.
LIVERPOOL WORLD FIRSTS.
Liverpool was the first city in the world to have a ;
Wet dock. 1715.
American Consul, 1790.
School of tropical medicine.
Elevated electric railway.
Passenger railway station - Edge Hill - 1836.
LIVERPOOL BRITISH FIRSTS.
Liverpool was the first city in the United Kingdom to have a ;
School for the blind.
High School for girls.
Free school milk and free school dinners for children.
Council housing - (social housing).
National orchestra, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
Nobel Prize winner, Ronald Ross 1902.
Black African community.
Chinese / Eurasian community.
PIER HEAD AND THE THREE GRACES.
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© D.B.Bellamy. June 2010.
All images courtesy of wikimedia commons.