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Liverpool is a city in North West England, along the eastern side of the Mersey River Estuary.
Liverpool being named the European Capital of Culture was arguably the greatest day in Liverpool's recent history.
Built across a ridge of hills rising up to a height of around 70 metres above sea-level at Everton Hill, the city's urban area runs directly into Bootle and Crosby in Sefton to the north, and Huyton and Prescot in Knowsley to the east. It faces Wallasey and Birkenhead across the River Mersey to the west.
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In the late 19th century, Liverpool laid claim to being the "second Port of the Empire", handling more goods than any British city outside London. Liverpool also became a major industrial centre. However, during the 20th century it lost most of its manufacturing base and was in economic decline, it is still one of the poorest areas of Britain.
Among its inhabitants Liverpool is seen as a cultural centre, it is the birthplace of The Beatles and in 2008, Liverpool will hold the European Capital of Culture title.
In 2007, the city of Liverpoool celebrates its 800th anniversary.
In 2004 Liverpool's waterfront was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, reflecting the city's importance in the development of the world's trading system and dock technology.
The docks are central to Liverpool's history, with arguably the best-known being Albert Dock: the first enclosed, non-combustible dock warehouse system in the world and the first structure in Britain to be built entirely of cast iron, brick and stone, designed by Jesse Hartley. Restored in the 1980s, the Albert Dock is the largest collection of Grade I listed buildings in Britain. Part of the old dock complex is now the home to the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museum of Liverpool Life and the Tate Liverpool. Other relics of the dock system include the Stanley Dock Tobacco Warehouse, which at the time of its construction in 1901, was the world's largest building in terms of area.
The Pier Head is arguably the most famous image of Liverpool, the location of the Three Graces, three of Liverpool's most recognisable buildings. The first is the Royal Liver Building, built in the early 1900s and surmounted by two bronze domes with a Liver Bird (the symbol of Liverpool) on each. The second is the Cunard Building, the headquarters of the former Cunard shipping company. The third is the Port of Liverpool Building, the home of the former Mersey Docks and Harbour Board which regulated the city's docks.
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