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In the minds of many people, Liverpool is synonymous with its four best-known citizens, the Beatles. As famous and important as they were, that equation trivialises Liverpool's long history and importance as England's second largest port city, after London.

It is said that the origin of the name, Liverpool, may trace back to the first century AD, when there was a settlement along the banks of the River Mersey, next to a muddy creek, known as a "lifrugpool." Whether true or not, at the beginning of the 13th century, King John issued a charter to the town of "Livpul" for the development of a seaport.

Liverpool's greatest growth took place because of that seaport, during the early days of the Empire, in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, with the slave and West Indian sugar trades. With the advent of the steamship in the 1840's, Liverpool became home to the Cunard and White Star Lines and to a vast fleet of ocean-going merchant ships. Along its waterfront ran seven miles of docks.

Modern Liverpool is a cosmopolitan city, resulting from the influx of refugees from all parts of the Empire, many of whom never made it far beyond their original point of entry. It is a city of architectural interest, highlighted by England's largest cathedral, the neo-gothic anglican cathedral, completed in 1978, and the thoroughly modern Roman Catholic cathedral, consecrated in 1967. There are museums and galleries aplenty, as well as tunnels under the Mersey, connecting Liverpool with its neighboring cities, Birkenhead and Wallasey.

Related Links
Liverpool breaks
Beatlemania A directory of Beatles-related attractions in Liverpool, and on the Web.
Merseyside Tourism and Conference Bureau Hotels, events, info.
University of Liverpool Courses, admissions, faculty, maps, etc.
Virtual Tour of Liverpool
Liverpool Cathedral (Anglican) A brief look at Britain's largest cathedral.
The Mighty Reds Liverpool's Football Club's home page.
MerseyWorld Guide to all there is to do, see, buy and experience in the Liverpool area.

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