Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Manchester, England

Manchester is in the north of England.  It is 56 km (35 miles) from Liverpool and 262 km (163 miles) from London.  Manchester has 541,000 residents while the Greater Manchester area is home to 2,79 million people.  People from Manchester are Mancunian (proper) or Manc (slang).

It was founded around 79 AD as a Roman fort.  Manchester was given a town charter in 1301 and it achieved city status in 1853.

Manchester was the world's first industrialised city thanks to the Industrial Revolution.  The city was a major player in the textile industry and was the world's largest marketplace for cotton goods.

In 2017 it became a UNESCO City of Literature.

Today it is the third-most visited city in the UK after London and Edinburgh.

The town hall was completed in 1877.

Beetham Tower was completed in 2006 and is currently the tallest building in Manchester.  At 169 metres (554 feet) is is the 10th tallest building in the UK.

The John Rylands Library was completed in 1899 and opened to the public in 1900.  It is now part of the University of Manchester Library and is open to the public.  Well worth a visit.

Manchester's Chinatown is in the city centre.  It is the second largest Chinatown in the UK and the third largest in Europe.

The Cenotaph was unveiled in 1924.  It was a WWI memorial but has been updated over the years for subsequent conflicts.

St. John's Gardens was established in 1932.  It was previously home to St. John's Church and a graveyard from 1769 to 1931.

The Opera House opened in 1912.  It closed in 1979 when it became a bingo hall until 1984 when it reopened as a theatre.

Manchester's Anglican cathedral was built from 1421 - 1882.  It is currently being renovated.

The Corn Exchange used to be just that, a corn exchange.  The market was bombed by the IRA in 1996.  It was later renovated and is a shopping centre.

The Museum of Science and Industry opened in 1983.  It sits on the world's first railway station.  There are some really interesting exhibits that range from locomotives to aircraft and textiles to computing.  Well worth a visit.

The National Football Museum opened in 2001 and moved to its current location in 2012.  I've lived in Euroland long enough that it's football; not soccer.

Canal Street is one of the busiest streets in the Gay Village.  Manchester Pride has been held every August since 2003.

At Sackville Gardens is the Alan Turing memorial which was unveiled in 2001.  Alan Turing is regarded as the "father of modern computing" whose work breaking codes during WWII is believed to have shortened the war in Europe by at least two years and saved more than 14 million lives.  In 1952 he was prosecuted for being gay and was subjected to chemical castration before he ultimately committed suicide.  He was posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013.

At Piccadilly Gardens is a statue of Queen Victoria.

This is also where I came across a Czech and Slovak food stand.  Just in case I was missing some Slovak halušky.

This was my first time in Manchester and I loved it.  Not just for Pride weekend, although it was a lot of fun.  The city has a great vibe to it and I'll for sure plan a return trip.

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