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Culture Guide To Liverpool

Culture in Liverpool In 2003, Liverpool beat off tough competition from 11 British cities to be crowned the European Capital of Culture 2008. For Liverpool this means over £2 billion investment, the creation of around 14,000 jobs in the tourism sector and an extra 1.7 million visitors, who will spend around £50m a year.

But for tourists it is simply the proof they need that Liverpool is indeed the best place to visit in Britain for a taste of culture. And, in addition to the city’s European status, the United Nations has recently named Liverpool as a World Heritage Site for its global influence during 19th century trans-Atlantic trade.

So, it’s fair to say this city has an array of cultural attractions, including museums, art galleries and theatres, for you to visit and featured below are just a few of the best.

When it comes to architecture Liverpool has so much to offer that just about every corner you turn uncovers another beautiful building. For a start there are the city’s two splendid cathedrals, the Anglican [map] and the Metropolitan Roman Catholic [map], which certainly helped Liverpool’s bid for European Capital of Culture.

Frequently referred to as Britain's most ‘awe-inspiring’ cathedral, the Anglican Cathedral took 83 years to complete. Situated on St James’ Mount and designed by architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, it is the biggest cathedral in Britain and the fifth largest in the world.

The uniquely designed Metropolitan Roman Catholic Cathedral opened in 1967 and its tower holds the world's largest stained glass window.

Also worth a mention here is the Town Hall, a fantastic Grade I listed building with fine staterooms, crystal chandeliers and priceless paintings.

If you want to delve into Liverpool’s past then pay a visit to one of the many museums dotted around the city, which cover everything from the slave trade and Roman relics to the Beatles and Brookside.

Situated on the impressive Albert Dock, which is a cultural haven in itself, the Beatles Story Exhibition Experience [map] offers a wonderful insight into the lives of the world famous Fab Four. Not far from there you’ll find the Merseyside Maritime Museum [map], which uncovers the truth of the slave trade and Liverpool’s part in the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II.

If you’re more interested in learning about Liverpool’s social history then the Museum of Liverpool Life [map] is well worth a visit. The museum covers everything from political activity to religious faiths, and the production of Ford cars to the famous soap opera, Brookside.

Liverpool is also a great place to enjoy a night out at the theatre, with many top West End shows finding their way to the stage at the city’s Empire Theatre [map]. But if you’re looking for local productions then try the small but lively Unity Theatre [map], which combines classic drama with new local and national talent.

Being home to the first photographic magazine means that Liverpool is now focused on maintaining the development of media arts. This has been achieved through the Open Eye Gallery [map], which displays collections of work from regional, national and international photographers and media artists.

The gallery is just one of numerous visual arts centres, but if it’s fine art you’re after then the famous Tate Gallery [map] would be a good place to start, although there are plenty more galleries dotted around the city.

So Liverpool already has so much to offer people seeking a bit of culture but becoming European Capital of Culture 2008 will undoubtedly accelerate the city’s rebirth and deliver a lasting legacy that everyone can enjoy.

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