In the 1800’s Manchester England was the epicenter of the Industrial Revolution.
Manchester’s story is often shrouded in the smogn and soot of Charles Dickens’ novels, but this is a city with a glorious past, and perhaps, an even a greater future.
It’s been said, “What Manchester thinks today, the world thinks tomorrow.”
Manchester is a city of firsts. This is the world’s first truly modern city, the place where mankind first split the atom, the birthplace of the first modern computer.
Manchester’s story began here, in Castlefield, where the many chapters of the city’s story merge into one.
Explore the remains of the Roman fort, built to guard an ancient river crossing. Wander the banks of Bridgewater canal, whose completion in 1761 is regarded as the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
Admire the warehouses and mills which once numbered in the thousands and generated incredible wealth for the city.
While in the background, is Beetham Tower, the symbol of a city once again on the rise.
As the city’s fortunes swelled in the 19th century, so too did its civic pride.
Manchester’s elite saw their city as the new Venice, and commissioned grand buildings and monuments, taking architectural inspiration from across the ages.
Manchester’s crowning glory is its Town Hall, built to rival the great buildings of London. Admire the incredible Victorian Gothic exterior, lavish staterooms,…and murals which celebrate the city’s history. This is a building that proclaimed, “this is Manchester, and we’ve arrived!”
For two centuries, Manchester’s merchants went on a spending spree, scouring the world in search of cultural treasures to fill their stately homes.
Many of these treasures now reside in the city’s museums and galleries.
At the Manchester Art Gallery, explore the works of the Pre-Raphaelites Britain’s first radical art movement and more contemporary works which continue to challenge.
At the Manchester Museum, step into a Gothic Revival time-capsule housing millions of items, from a T-Rex skeleton called Stan, to one of the UK’s most important Egyptology collections.
This city enjoys a proud philanthropic tradition. Perhaps the city’s greatest was Enriqueta Rylands, whose gift to the city was the John Rylands Library.
Dedicated to Manchester’s largest textile magnate, in the ten years it took to create this neo-gothic masterpiece, the widow acquired 40 000 books and oversaw every last detail a labor of love for her late husband, and the people of Manchester.
Manchester has long understood the power of knowledge.
In 1653 the Chetham Library became the country’s first free public library and has been open to all ever since.
Let your fingertips wander the Tudor era shelves, then step into the room where Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx began to write the Communist Manifesto, a work inspired by the crushing conditions the city’s workers once endured.
Revolution and reform run deep in Manchester’s waters. Housed in a restored Edwardian pump house is The People’s History Museum, which celebrates those who challenged Britain’s rigid political and class systems.
Stand before the simple desk where Thomas Paine penned The Rights of Man, a book that helped ignite the revolutionary fires in America and France.
At the world’s oldest surviving railway station, you’ll find The Museum of Science and Industry. In the museum’s Power Hall, feel the heat and steam that powered the shafts and wheels which once made Manchester the Empire’s engine room.
From textile looms to locally produced aircraft and motor vehicles, this museum is a both fascinating journey through the city’s glory days, and a peek into the future.
The Imperial War Museum North is designed to resemble the shards of a world shattered by conflict.
Manchester knows well the horrors of war. During the Manchester Blitz, thousands of German bombs reigned down upon the city.
In typical Mancunian fashion, this museum strips away the pomp and glory of war and reminds us instead, of its human cost.
After the 1950s, Manchester’s fortunes went into a serious decline and the city was all but written off as a post-industrial basket-case.
But in recent decades, the city began to awaken once more, largely thanks to its youthful creativity. A succession of bands like Joy Division, the Smiths, The Stone Roses and Oasis shook up the foundations of popular music and put Manchester back on the map.
Explore the city’s incredible musical heritage in areas like the Northern Quarter, and pick up some rare vinyl along the way.
But if there’s one source of pride that truly unites this city, it’s its two football clubs, Manchester City and Manchester United.
In 1968, Manchester United, became the first English club to become European Champions.
Today, the club enjoys a global fan base in the millions.
Learn more at the National Football Museum in the city center, or better still, time your visit for a match at Old Trafford, Manchester’s “Theatre of Dreams” since 1910.
Manchester may no longer be England’s industrial powerhouse, but it’s a city that’s never stopped dreaming.
Right across the city, daring new projects, innovations and ideas continue to capture the world’s attention.
In this city of firsts, the only question is, what will Manchester do next?