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About city Gallery Where to stay

Situated in the Northern part of the country on the shores of the River Irwell, Manchester is one of the largest cities in Great Britain, and Manchester County’s administrative centre. This millennia-old city was founded in 79 AD, on the territory of the Celtic settlement of Mancenion and the Roman Mancucian camp.

Today, it’s a bustling industrial, commercial, financial and cultural hub. In Europe, Manchester has been known as a city of merchants and craftsmen since the Middle Ages. A crucial push for the city’s development was the Industrial Revolution, which turned it into one of the largest textile centres on the continent. The city’s humid climate was excellent for processing cotton, and with the help of steam-powered spinning and weaving machines, the textile industry spread across the entire region.

People on Christmas Market
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  People on Christmas Market

The Industrial Revolution gave the city a dense network of water canals and one of the world’s largest collections of steam engines. Friedrich Engels, who lived here from 1842 until 1844, called Manchester the world’s first factory town. Rich factory owners thought nothing of spending a fortune on making the city more pleasant to the eye – they invited the most famous architects, who designed imposing, richly-decorated trading houses, banks and warehouses, which looked more like palaces. Some of these buildings remain to this day.

Now, Manchester is known not just for its industrial glory, but also as a centre of science and the avant-garde. Important research into the structure of the atom was carried out at the University of Manchester by Ernest Rezerford, who received the Noble Prize for his work in 1908. Nowadays, the university is known for its work in the field of IT.

Manchester Central Library
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Manchester Central Library

The city prides itself in keeping up with the latest developments in art and for materialising even the boldest of ideas. There were times when the city had more theatres than London, and it was here that the world’s first repertory theatres first came into being. The city’s historic Drama, Opera, Apollo and Palace theatres have been known for their repertoires for a very long time. Here, art enthusiasts can also visit a great number of excellent museums, art galleries and exhibition halls.

Around the world, however, the city is probably best known for its football clubs FC Manchester United and FC Manchester City. T-shirts with the paraphernalia of these teams are worn everywhere, from Africa to South America, and the matches watched by football fans in India, Atlantic to Pacific regions, from luxury bars to African slums. Considering all this, it’s no surprise that in Manchester football is practically a religion, and a booming industry of its own.

Old Trafford stadium is home to Manchester United
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Old Trafford stadium is home to Manchester United

In terms of population, the city is highly diverse — recent surveys have shown that here you can hear as many as 153 different languages. This staggering number makes Manchester the most ethnically diverse city in Europe, and the second in the world after New York.

The central part of the city is home to around half a million people, with several million more living on the outskirts. Manchester is also one of the most expensive places in the whole of Great Britain. Here, rent, food, industrial goods and services are much more expensive than almost anywhere else in the country. In the historical part of the city, inexpensive cafés and restaurants simply do not exist. Cheaper places to eat can only be found far from the usual tourist routes.

The best shops are also concentrated in the city centre. The most popular of these is the famous – and England’s biggest – Arndale Shopping Centre, which hosts over 300 individual stores under one roof.

Where to stay

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