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Manchester - England

Holiday in Manchester - EnglandManchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. Manchester is situated within one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom. Manchester is located in the south-central part of North West England, surrounded by the Cheshire Plain to the south and the Pennines to the north and east. The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium, which was established in 79 AD on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the Medlock River and the Irwell River. Manchester began to expand rapidly around the turn of the 19th century. This unplanned urbanisation was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution and resulted in it becoming the first industrialised city in the world. An early 19th century factory building boom transformed Manchester from a township into a major mill town and borough that was granted city status in 1853. In 1894 the Manchester Ship Canal was built which created the Port of Manchester. The city of Manchester is known for its culture, music scene, scientific and engineering output, media links and sports connections. Manchester was the site of the world's first railway station, and the place where scientists first split the atom and developed the first stored-program computer. Manchester is served by two universities, including the largest single site university in the United Kingdom, and has one of the United Kingdom's largest urban economies. Manchester is also the third-most visited city in the United Kingdom by foreign tourists, after London and Edinburgh, and the most visited in England aside from London. Like most of the United Kingdom, the Manchester area was mobilized extensively during the Second World War. The casting and machining expertise at Beyer, Peacock and Co. locomotive works in Gorton was switched over to bomb making. The Dunlop Rubber Works in Chorlton-on-Medlock converted to making barrage balloons and just outside the city in Trafford Park, engineers at Metropolitan-Vickers made Avro Manchester and Avro Lancaster bombers and Ford built the Rolls-Royce Merlin engines to power them. All this made Manchester the target of bombing by the Luftwaffe, and by late 1940 the air raids were taking place against even non-military targets. The biggest took place during the Christmas Blitz on the nights of the 22nd and 23rd and 24th of December in 1940. The Luftwaffe dropped an estimated 467 long tons of high explosives plus over 37,000 incendiary bombs. A large part of the historic city center was destroyed, including 165 warehouses, 200 business premises and 150 offices. In this one raid 376 residents were killed and 30,000 houses were damaged. The Manchester Cathedral was among the buildings seriously damaged and its restoration took 20 years to complete.

Holiday in Manchester - EnglandManchester has a history of attacks that were attributed to the IRA, including the Manchester Martyrs of 1867, arson in 1920, a series of explosions in 1939, and two bombs in 1992. On Saturday the 15th of June in 1996, the IRA carried out the 1996 Manchester bombing with the detonation of a large bomb next to a department store in the city center. The largest bomb ever to be detonated on British soil, it injured over 200 people, heavily damaged nearby buildings, and broke windows a half a mile away. The cost of the immediate damage was initially estimated at £50 million, but this was quickly revised upwards and the final insurance payout was over £400 million. Many affected Manchester businesses never recovered from the loss of trade in the wake of this bombing. Spurred by the investment after the 1996 bomb, and aided by the XVII Commonwealth Games, Manchester's city center has undergone extensive regeneration over the years. Both new and renovated complexes such as The Printworks and The Triangle have become popular shopping and entertainment centers and the Manchester Arndale is the largest city center shopping mall in the UK. Large sections of the city dating from the 1960s have been either demolished and re-developed or modernized with the use of glass and steel. Old mills have been converted into modern apartments and Hulme has undergone extensive regeneration programs. Millions of British pounds were invested in lofthouse apartments that have since been developed. The 169-meter tall, 47 floor Beetham Tower, completed in 2006, is the tallest building in the UK outside London and at the time the highest residential building in Europe. The lower 23 floors of this building form the Hilton Hotel with a Sky Bar featured on the 23rd floor. Floors 24 through 47 of the building are private residential apartments. Situated 160 miles or 257 kilometers northwest of London, Manchester lies in a bowl-shaped area bordered to the north and east by the Pennines, a mountain chain that runs the length of northern England, and to the south by the Cheshire Plain. The city center is on the east bank of the River Irwell near its confluences with the rivers Medlock and Irk, and is relatively low-lying. The River Mersey flows through the south of Manchester. Much of the inner city, especially in the south, is flat, offering extensive views from many highrise buildings in the city of the foothills and moors of the Pennines, which can often be capped with snow during the winter months. Manchester and North West England are served by Manchester Airport. The airport is the third busiest in the United Kingdom and the largest outside of the London area. Airline services exist to many destinations in Europe, North America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Actually Manchester offers more destinations from its airport than are offered from London Heathrow. The M60 and M56 motorways pass through the south of Manchester, through Northenden and Wythenshawe respectively. Heavy rail lines enter the city from all directions with the principal destination being Manchester Piccadilly station. Manchester became the first city in the United Kingdom to acquire a modern light rail tram system when the Manchester Metrolink opened in 1992. The present system mostly runs on former commuter rail lines converted for light rail use, and crosses the city center via on-street tram lines.

Holiday in Manchester - EnglandA significant part of the economy of Manchester has expanded since about 1993, with investment from breweries in bars, public houses and clubs, along with active support from the local authorities. More than 500 licensed businesses in the city center have the capacity to deal with over 250,000 visitors. With 110,000 to 130,000 people visiting on a typical weekend night, this segement of the economy has a value of about £100 million and has created 12,000 jobs. The Madchester music scene of the 1980s, from which groups including The Stone Roses, the Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets, 808 State, James and The Charlatans emerged, was based on clubs such as The Haçienda. This period was the subject of the film called 24 Hour Party People. Many of the big clubs suffered problems with organised crime during this time; characterized by situations like one club where staff were so completely intimidated that when free admission and drinks were demanded, they were given and drugs were openly being dealt. Following a series of drug-related violent incidents, The Hacienda itself closed in 1997. Public houses in the Canal Street area have had a gay clientele dating back to the 1940s and now form the center of the Manchester gay community. Following the Manchester City Council investment in infrastructure, the UK's first gay supermarket was opened; since the opening of new bars and clubs the area attracts 20,000 visitors each weekend and now hosts a popular festival, Manchester Pride, held each August since 1991. Museums in the city celebrate the Roman history of Manchester, its role in the Industrial Revolution, the textile industry, the Trade Union movement, women's suffrage and in football. A reconstructed part of the Roman fort of Mamucium is open to the public in Castlefield. The Museum of Science and Industry, housed in the former Liverpool Road Railway Station, has a large collection of steam locomotives, industrial machinery and aircraft. The Museum of Transport displays a collection of historic buses and trams. Trafford Park in the neighbouring borough of Trafford is home to the Imperial War Museum North. The Manchester Museum opened to the public in the 1880s, has notable Egyptology and natural history collections. The municipally-owned Manchester Art Gallery on Mosley Street houses a permanent collection of European painting, and has one of Britain's most significant collections of Pre-Raphaelite paintings. In the south of the city, the Whitworth Art Gallery displays modern art, sculpture and textiles. Other exhibition spaces and museums in Manchester include the Cornerhouse, the Urbis Center, the Manchester Costume Gallery at Platt Fields Park, the People's History Museum and the Manchester Jewish Museum. The works of Stretford-born painter L. S. Lowry, known for his matchstick paintings of industrial Manchester and Salford, can be seen in both the city and Whitworth Manchester Galleries, and at the Lowry Art Center in Salford Quays devoting a large permanent exhibition to his works.



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