August 22nd, 2013

Liverpool’s Heritage in Architecture, History and Music

by Don

One of the most exciting and cosmopolitan cities in the world, Liverpool can trace its history back to 1207, when it was founded as a borough. After receiving city status in 1880, it has gone on to make a mark on the global stage like no other.

Today, Liverpool is a UNESCO World Heritage City, with over 2,500 listed buildings and more galleries and museums than anywhere in the country outside London. English Heritage describes it as the UK’s finest Victorian city.

Architectural heritage

Liverpool boasts many fine buildings from many eras, a heady mix of various styles which form part of the city’s fascination. A few of these are the Town Hall, one of the finest 18th century town halls still surviving in England and the neoclassical splendour of St. George’s Hall. The city also has ten listed parks and cemeteries.

One of the best 16th century Tudor manor halls is the timber-framed Speke Hall. The stunningly well preserved frontage gives no indication of the mid-19th century arts and crafts movement-styled interior. The hall is owned by the National Trust and is open to the public. There are some wonderful walks to be had amid the grounds.

Liverpool boasts two fine cathedrals. The Roman Catholic Metropolitan is a fascinating modernistic design bearing a crown of pinnacles. Lit up at night it looks amazing. The Anglican Cathedral is the second longest in the world. Built in a Gothic style, it is today considered one of the greatest buildings of the 20th century.

Historical heritage

The Liverpool Museum, opened in 2011, closely examines the history and nature of the city, including just why it is so good at producing comedians and musicians. At the Merseyside Maritime Museum you can learn all about the city’s proud seafaring past and the dark side of this legacy is brought to light in the International Slavery Museum.

Musical heritage

Of course, no discussion of the heritage of Liverpool would be complete without mentioning one of the city’s most beloved gifts to the world and the aspect that made the place world-famous and enormously influential. Many people still visit Liverpool just to follow the Beatles trail and there are a number of locations citywide which are well worth a visit for fans.

The Beatles Story at the Albert Dock is an exhilarating journey through the lives and careers of the Fab Four. There are artefacts, interactive displays and recreations of the Cavern Club, Abbey Road Studios and the Yellow Submarine. The tale continues at The Beatles Story Pier Head, with attractions such as the Fab4D Experience, which takes you on a musical journey like no other.

The rebuilt Cavern Club occupies much of the site of the original and is still a good way to experience what it must have been like in those heady days. It is still one of the city’s major musical venues, with live performances most afternoons and evenings. For the hardcore fans there’s also the National Trust tour of the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Liverpool also has a heritage of hospitality and a fine example of this can be found in the heart of the city, where the HI Liverpool is one of the leading hotels.

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