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Liverpool - England
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England made famous to Americans due to the Beatles emerging out of a club called the Cavern in the early 1960s. Historically it earned its status as a major port in the 18th century with trade from the West Indies, Ireland and mainland Europe as well as the Atlantic Slave Trade furthering the economic expansion of Liverpool. By the early 19th century, 40 percent of world trade passed through the docks at Liverpool transforming it into a major city. Liverpool's status as a port city facilitated it attracting a diverse group of people, cultures, and religious beliefs, especially from Ireland. The city is also home to the oldest Black African community in the United Kingdom and the oldest Chinese community in Europe. The media attention to The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers and the other rock groups from what was known as the Merseybeat era as well as the city's world-class art galleries, museums and landmarks has brought large numbers of tourists to Liverpool and this tourism contributes a sizeable segment of the Liverpool economy. In 2004, property developer Grosvenor started the Paradise Project, a £920 million development centered on Paradise Street, bringing the most significant changes to Liverpool's city center since post-war reconstruction. Renamed Liverpool 1, the center opened in May of 2008. The city celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2007, and shared the European Capital of Culture title together with Stavanger, Norway, in 2008. Several areas of the city center were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004, referred to as the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, the UNESCO site is comprised of six separate locations in the city including the Pier Head, Albert Dock and William Brown Street and includes many of the city's most famous landmarks. Liverpool was the port of registry of the famous ocean liner, the RMS Titanic. Under the words Titanic on the stern of the ship, Liverpool could be seen painted below it when it sank on April 1912 with the loss of 1,517 lives, including numerous crew members from Liverpool. A Memorial to the engine room heroes of the Titanic is located on the city's waterfront. During the Second World War, the strategic importance of Liverpool was recognised by both Hitler and Churchill causing the city to suffer bombing second only to that of London. During the Second World War there were 80 air raids on Merseyside, killing over 2,500 people and causing serious damage to almost half the homes in the metropolitan area. Significant rebuilding followed the war, including massive housing estates as well as the Seaforth Dock - the largest dock project in Britain.
The Mathew Street Festival is an annual street festival that is one of the most important musical events on the Liverpool event calendar. The dance music festival, Creamfields, was established by the famous Liverpool-based Cream clubbing brand which started life as a weekly event at Nation Nightclub. There are numerous musical venues located across the city with the Echo Arena being by far the largest. Opened in 2008 the 11,000-seat arena hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards and since has hosted world renowned acts such as Andrea Bocelli, Beyoncé, Elton John, Kanye West, Kasabian, The Killers, Lady Gaga, Oasis, Pink, Rihanna, UB40 and others. Liverpool is noted for having two Cathedrals, each of which towers over the landscape around it. The Anglican Cathedral, constructed between 1904 and 1978, is the largest Cathedral in Britain and the 5th largest in the world. Designed and built in Gothic style, it is regarded as one of the greatest buildings to have been constructed during the 20th century and was described by former British Poet Laureate, John Betjeman, as being one of the great buildings of the world. The Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral was constructed between 1962 and 1967 and is notable as being one of the first Cathedrals to break the traditional longitudinal design. There are many other exceptional buildings in Liverpool, including the art deco building which was the former terminal building of Speke Airport, the University of Liverpool's Victoria Building - which provided the inspiration for the term Red Brick University, and the Adelphi Hotel being at one time to be one of the finest hotels anywhere in the world. The English Heritage National Register of Historic Parks describes the Merseyside Victorian Parks as collectively being the most important in the country. The city of Liverpool has ten listed parks and cemeteries, including three designated as Grade II - more than any other English city aside from London. The cross river ferry service known as the Mersey Ferry is managed and operated by Merseytravel, with ferry services operating between the Pier Head in Liverpool and both Woodside in Birkenhead and Seacombe in Wallasey. These services operate at intervals ranging from 20 minutes at peak times, to every hour during the middle of the day and on weekends. Aside from remaining an important transportation link between the city and the Wirral Peninsula, the Mersey Ferry has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction within the city, with daytime River Explorer Cruises providing passengers with an historical overview of the River Mersey and surrounding areas.
Liverpool is said to possess the most splendid setting of any English city. Situated 176 miles or 283 kilometers northwest of London, sitting on the Liverpool Bay of the Irish Sea, Liverpool is built across a ridge of sandstone hills at a height of about 230 feet or 70 meters above sealevel at Everton Hill - the southern boundary of the West Lancashire Coastal Plain. The Mersey Estuary separates Liverpool from Birkenhead, Wallasey and the Kirby Sands to the southwest. The boundaries of Liverpool are adjacent to Bootle, Crosby and Maghull in south Sefton to the north, and Kirkby, Huyton, Prescot and Halewood in Knowsley to the east. Liverpool has a temperate maritime climate, like much of the rest of the British Isles, with relatively cool summers and mild winters. Its coastal location and urban setting means diurnal temperature ranges are particularly subdued, ranging from an average of 7°C in May to just under 4°C during December. In the past the Bidston Observatory has provided the longest and most reliable weather data for the Merseyside area, but more recently, the Met Office has operated a weather station at Crosby. The lowest minimum temperature ever recorded at Bidston was −12.8°C or 9.0°F in January of 1881. Typically the coldest night of the year only falls to −4°C or 24.8°F. The highest maximum temperature ever recorded at Bidston was 34.5°C or 94.1°F in August of 1990 - typically the warmest day of the year should reach only 27.5°C or 81.5°F. Transportation in Liverpool is primarily centered around the road and rail networks, both of which are extensive and provide access across the United Kingdom. Liverpool has an extensive local public transport network, which is managed by the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive, and includes buses, trains and ferries. Additionally, the city also has an international airport and the port which provide access to locations outside the country. The Liverpool John Lennon International Airport located in the south part of the city, provides Liverpool with direct air connections across the United Kingdom and destinations in Europe. In 2008, the airport handled over 5.3 million passengers and today offers services to 68 destinations including Berlin, Rome, Milan, Paris, Barcelona and Zürich. The airport is primarily served by low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet, although it does provide additional charter services during the summer. The Dutch airline KLM currently provides a four-times daily service to Amsterdam from the John Lennon International Airport, providing passengers with the ability to fly to over 800 destinations across the world via the Dutch airport in Amsterdam.
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