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City of Manchester
Landmarks of Manchester
Landmarks of Manchester
Coordinates 53 ° 29 ′  N , 2 ° 14 ′  W Coordinates: 53 ° 29 ′  N , 2 ° 14 ′  W
OS National Grid SJ838980
City of Manchester (England)
City of Manchester
City of Manchester
Residents 547,627 (as of June 30, 2018)
surface 115.65 km² (44.65  mi² )
Population density: 4735 inhabitants per km²
ZIP code section M.
prefix 0161
Part of the country England
region North West England
Shire county Greater Manchester
ONS code 00BN
status Metropolitan Borough
City (1853)
Lord Mayor : Carl Austin-Behan (Lord Mayor), 2016
City Council :
(96 seats)
A total of 96 seats

Manchester [ˈmɛntʃɛstɐ, English ˈmæntʃɪstə] is a city in the north-west of England in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with the status of a Metropolitan Borough and a City . It has almost 550,000 inhabitants and is located in the center of the Metropolitan County Greater Manchester , one of the largest agglomerations in England with 2.8 million inhabitants (2018). The inhabitants of Manchester are called " Mancunians " or " Mancs " for short .



Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Manchester
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 6.9 7.2 9.7 12.3 15.9 18.4 20.2 20.1 17.4 13.5 9.6 7.1 O 13.2
Min. Temperature (° C) 0.8 1.0 2.4 3.6 6.7 9.0 11.7 11.3 9.2 6.7 3.0 0.6 O 5.5
Precipitation ( mm ) 81.5 51.5 58.6 61.4 54.8 64.5 67.3 79.4 79.6 98.8 79.9 89.8 Σ 867.1
Rainy days ( d ) 15.8 11.0 12.8 11.8 10.9 9.7 11.7 12.8 12.1 14.4 14.4 14.4 Σ 151.8
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Bronze and Iron Age

Before the invasion of Britain by the Romans , today's urban area was in the territory of the Celtic tribe of the Brigantes . Gnaeus Iulius Agricola had a fort built in 79 AD at the confluence of the Irwell and Medlock rivers called Mamucium , Celtic-Latin for "breast-shaped hill". The word chester means camp ( castrum ). After the Roman troops left Great Britain around 407, the area was sparsely populated until Anglo-Saxons settled in the 7th century . They founded a village called Mameceaster , from which Manchester developed.

The ruins of the Roman fortifications were visible until the 18th century and were only finally removed when a main railway line was built. A replica of the Roman fort was built in Castlefield.

Middle Ages and Modern Times

The small village of Manchester became a market settlement in the 13th century and was given the right to hold fairs in 1222 . In 1301 the right to self-government followed. In the 14th century, immigrants from Flanders settled and established the tradition of wool processing and linen production. Thanks to these industries, Manchester had become a thriving market town in the 16th century. The City Church, the cathedral of the Diocese of Manchester since 1847 , was built between 1421 and 1506. The growth was given a further boost around 1620 by the introduction of cotton weaving .

When the English Civil War broke out in 1642 , Manchester sided with Parliament. The city successfully resisted a siege by royal troops, although it had no city walls. When the royalists came back to power after 1660, Manchester lost all seats in parliament and was not represented for nearly two hundred years. Despite the lost political influence, the city's economic importance continued to grow.

Industrial revolution

Manchester played a key role during the Industrial Revolution . The numerous streams that sprang up in the Pennines to the north and east of the city were ideal for building cotton mills powered by water power . The city also benefited from its proximity to the seaport in Liverpool .

After the invention of the steam engine , cotton spinning mills were no longer dependent on water power and as a result, even larger businesses emerged in the city itself and in the surrounding villages and towns. Many rural residents moved to Manchester in search of work. Within a few decades the population increased many times over and Manchester became the most important industrial center in the world.

The opening of the Bridgewater Canal in 1761, which ran from the Duke of Bridgewater's coal mines in Worsley to Manchester, provided a transport route that was both for the safe and inexpensive transport of coal for the steam engines and households in Manchester on the one hand and for was able to arrange the removal of factory goods from Manchester.

The unchecked population growth brought the city to the limits of its capacity. Most of the workers were employed on starvation wages and had to live in dire conditions. In 1797, as a result of a recession in the textile industry , revolts and looting broke out.

19th century

Old and new. Castlefield inner city district; in the background the Beetham Tower

The lack of representation in parliament meant that the population was very open to radical political ideas. In 1819 the Peterloo massacre occurred . After the parliamentary reform of 1832, the city was again allowed to send members to the lower house. Manchester remained an important center for radical political ideas. The German journalist and writer Friedrich Engels lived here from 1842 to 1844 and again from 1850 to 1870 and wrote his influential book " The Situation of the Working Class in England ". In 1839 Richard Cobden founded the Anti-Corn Law League for free trade and the abolition of tariffs (especially tariffs on imported grain). In 1846 the Corn Laws were abolished . Cobden became a symbol of Manchester liberalism .

Numerous cultural and educational institutions were founded, such as B. the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society (1781), the Portico Library (1803), the Royal Manchester Institution (1823), today's University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (1824) and the Victoria University of Manchester (1851). In 1847 the Diocese of Manchester became part of the Church of England . Manchester officially became a city in 1853.

The flourishing textile industry led to an expansion of the city and the formation of a wide suburban belt. The construction of railways and canals in particular contributed to growth. 1829 built George Stephenson , the first railway from Liverpool to Manchester ( Liverpool and Manchester Railway ). The outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 resulted in an immediate shortage of cotton, which plunged the textile industry into a deep crisis. Numerous canals were built to reduce dependence on the port of Liverpool , most notably the Manchester Ship Canal, which opened in 1894 . This made Manchester the third largest port city in Great Britain, despite the distance of 40 miles to the sea. Queen Victoria officially cleared the structure for shipping on May 21, 1894, but the artificial waterway was in operation from January 1.

20th and 21st centuries

At the beginning of the 20th century, the city's economic structure changed. In 1910, Trafford Park was opened, the world's first purpose-built industrial zone. Here u. a. Ford and Westinghouse Electric Corporation . In 1931 the highest population of 766,311 was reached. The city ​​was hit hard by the global economic crisis , and the textile industry sank to almost insignificance. During the Second World War , the Avro aircraft were built in Manchester , which is why the city was repeatedly the target of air strikes. Because of this, there are only a few old buildings left in the city and the city is largely modern in the style of the post-war years.

After the war, Manchester took on a leadership role again, this time in IT . The "father" of modern computers, Alan Turing , taught at Manchester University . In 1948 his ideas resulted in the Small-Scale Experimental Machine , the first computer based on the Von Neumann architecture . In 1949 the Manchester Mark I followed , from which the Ferranti Star developed, one of the first commercial computers. The film studio Mancunian Films opened in 1947 and was taken over by the BBC in 1954 . In the same year Granada TV was also founded, one of the mainstays of ITV , which u. a. produced the soap opera Coronation Street , which has been running for decades .

This diversification could not prevent the decline of the industry, but at least cushion it. The population decreased: in 1971 there were 543,868 inhabitants, in 2001 it was only 422,302. In the 1950s and 1960s, large areas of old, overpopulated neighborhoods were demolished and replaced by high-rise estates. Most of these have been torn down again since the late 1980s.

Meanwhile the population of Manchester is increasing again. In the city center alone, the population has increased from 2,000 to more than 12,000. This is seen as a great success in the course of the regeneration of the inner city. In 2015, the city center is expected to have a population of more than 20,000.

Before 1974 the metropolitan area around Manchester belonged to the counties of Cheshire and Lancashire , in addition there were numerous independent county boroughs . The area was informally called SELNEC ("South East Lancashire North East Cheshire"). In 1974 the Metropolitan County Greater Manchester was established. In 1986 the council and administration of Greater Manchester was abolished.

On June 15, 1996 at 11:20 a.m., 1,500 kg of explosives exploded in the center of Manchester. The IRA placed this bomb in a delivery truck on Corporation Street, near Market Street. This was the largest IRA bomb ever detonated in England. 90 minutes before the explosion, the IRA informed the authorities of the impending attack, so that 80,000 people could be evacuated. There were no deaths, but 206 were injured, mainly from broken glass. The attack destroyed 50,000 m² of retail space and 25,000 m² of office space. Since the attack, the entire area has been completely renovated. A post box outside Marks & Spencer on Corporation Street survived the attack almost unscathed and was given a small plaque.

As a result of the reconstruction measures and a favorable economic development, the entire inner city of Manchester experienced a significant upswing in the years around 2000. The cityscape has since been shaped by upscale department stores as well as luxury apartments and futuristic architecture. In 2003, Manchester received the European Union 's award for the best structural change in a major European city.

Manchester applied unsuccessfully to host the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 2000 Summer Olympics . Instead, the 2002 Commonwealth Games took place in the city .

On May 22, 2017, there was an explosives attack at a music event in the Manchester Arena . At this concert by the American singer Ariana Grande , the alleged assassin, a son of a Libyan family born in Manchester, killed himself and 22 concert goers, including many children and young people, and injured many more.

Culture and sights

Opera House

Cityscape and architecture

The cityscape is shaped by buildings from different style periods from Victorian architecture to modern times. Outside the city center, cotton factories have been preserved, which are now used as apartments or offices. Typical of Manchester is the frequent use of red brick as a building material . Notable buildings include the Gothic Manchester Cathedral (built in 1421 in the Perpendicular style , the tower in 1876 rebuilt), the Grain Exchange ( Corn Exchange , built in 1897, today the mall The Triangle ) and the neo-Gothic Manchester Town Hall , which in 1868 by Alfred Waterhouse was designed . The station building of Liverpool Road Station, built in 1830, is the oldest preserved in the world.

Since the 1960s, several large high-rise buildings have been built in the city, creating a new city silhouette. The tallest building is the Beetham Tower , built in 2006 , which houses a hotel, restaurants and apartments.

There are 135 spaces, parks and gardens in Manchester. The most important park is Heaton Park in the north of the city center. With an area of ​​250 hectares, the green area is one of the largest public parks in Europe. In the city ​​center 's two large squares, St Peter's Square and Albert Square, there are numerous monuments in memory of famous people and kings.

The former Wythenshawe Bus Depot , built in 1942, is now a listed building.

Music and theater

Manchester has two symphony orchestras , the Hallé Orchestra and the BBC Philharmonic . The city is a center of musical education in northern England with the Royal Northern College of Music and the free music school Chetham's School of Music . The main symphonic music venues are the Free Trade Hall and Bridgewater Hall , a building that opened in 1996 and is dedicated to the Earl of Bridgewater.

In the Manchester Opera House and Palace Theater are opera , ballet , concerts , cabaret and musicals performed. Other important theaters are the Royal Exchange Theater , Library Theater and the Lowry Center .

Manchester is the home and founding place of many well-known music groups and singers, including Oasis , Herman's Hermits , The Hollies , New Order , The Smiths , James , I Am Kloot , Elbow , Simply Red , Inspiral Carpets , Stone Roses , Happy Mondays and Take That . At the time of punk and new wave , The Fall , Joy Division , Buzzcocks , Magazine and 808 State from Manchester became famous. The Future Sound of London was founded here in the late 1980s . With Factory Records, Manchester was home to one of the most influential independent labels . Due to its lively music scene, the city was given the nickname " Madchester ". In the 1980s and 1990s in particular, the city became a center of subculture. The discotheque “ The Haçienda ” became known nationwide in this context. Michael Winterbottom's film " 24 Hour Party People " (2002) deals with the stories of the popular club.

The largest event hall is the Manchester Evening News Arena (MEN-Arena) with 21,000 seats, which regularly hosts pop music concerts and events. Other important venues are the Manchester Apollo and the Manchester Academy .

Museums and galleries

The Museum of Science and Industry explores Manchester's industrial past and displays a collection of locomotives , industrial machines, and airplanes. In the Museum of Transport historical are buses and trams shown vehicles. The Manchester Museum, opened in 1880, is home to a natural history and Egyptological collection. The Imperial War Museum North , designed by Daniel Libeskind , displays a collection of military history and is connected to the city center by a pedestrian bridge.

Important art museums are the Manchester Art Gallery with a collection of European and especially Pre-Raphaelite paintings and the Whitworth Art Gallery with a focus on modern art. Other museums are the Cornerhouse (a cultural center with exhibition rooms, cinemas for independent films and a café in a former department store), the Urbis cultural and exhibition center , the Manchester Costume Gallery at Platt Fields Park , the People's History Museum , the Football Museum in the Old -Trafford Stadium and the Jewish Museum. The painter LS Lowry is Lowry Center dedicated to one of Michael Wilford built cultural center with theaters and art galleries.


Shopping around Piccadilly Gardens

The main shopping streets are Market Street , King Street and Deansgate . The Chinese Quarter, the second largest Chinatown in Great Britain, is to the east of the city center with Asian shops and restaurants. On Wilmslow Road in Rusholme is the Indian quarter nicknamed the Curry Mile . A special feature are the numerous colorful neon signs with which the catering and retail trade advertise.

Around Canal Street is Gay Village , the city's lesbian and gay district. It has been a meeting point for the scene since the 1940s at the latest, and the path to more openness began in the early 1980s. Today the neighborhood is one of the largest gay and lesbian cultural centers in Europe, with more than 40 bars, pubs , clubs and shops, and is mostly named after Soho in London. The British television series Queer as Folk , which was broadcast from 1999 to 2000 , also made it well known, especially among heterosexual audiences. The Manchester Pride takes place annually at the end of August and the Europride was celebrated here in 2003 . The Alan Turing Memorial is in the immediate vicinity in Sackville Park .


Two football clubs play in the Premier League in Manchester : Manchester City and Manchester United . The Old Trafford Stadium, home of Manchester United, is located in the neighboring city of Trafford . In 2002 the Commonwealth Games took place in the newly built City of Manchester Stadium , which has been Manchester City's home stadium since 2003. The B of the Bang in front of the stadium, a 56-meter-high sculpture in the form of an exploding firework, is a reminder of the ten-day sporting event. With the establishment of the Aquatics Center for the Commonwealth Games , Manchester now also has an indoor swimming pool for international sporting events. The Manchester Velodrome is the center of British track cycling . The most successful cricket club is Lancashire , which plays its home games at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground . The Belle Vue Aces from Manchester are among the most famous teams in the British Speedway Elite Professional League. Since 2005 the Great Manchester Run has been held in May , the most important British road race over 10 km.


Manchester is one of the economically strongest regions in Great Britain and ranks third in England behind London and Birmingham in terms of gross national product .

The formerly dominant heavy and textile industry is hardly of any importance today, instead the service sector employs most of the workers. The profound structural change has left deep marks on the urban economic and social structure, so that today there are extreme contrasts in Manchester: here you can find both very wealthy and the poorest households in Great Britain.

Consulting companies , banks and insurance companies, logistics and transport companies and the media and creative industries generate economic growth, as do research-intensive areas such as biotechnology or environmental technology. The finance industry alone employs over 15,000 people and around 60 banks are represented in the city. The largest employer is the cooperatively organized trading company Co-operative Group , which has its headquarters in the city. Tourism is also a growing source of income.


Manchester is the headquarters of the TV production company Granada Television , which is part of the ITV broadcasting group . Granada produces the world's oldest soap opera, Coronation Street . Other TV series such as Fitz For All Cases , Life on Mars - Captured in the 70s , The Royle Family and Clocking Off are also set in Manchester.

The city is a BBC location alongside London and Bristol . Several television programs are produced in Manchester's studios, and the BBC One radio station maintains a regional program here. Since 2000, the city has had its own private television station, Channel M, and mainly broadcasts a program with a strong regional focus.

Manchester has the largest number of radio stations in the UK outside of London. Important radio stations are BBC Radio Manchester , Cey 103 , Galaxy , Piccadilly Magic 1152 , 105.4 Century FM , 100.4 Smooth FM , Kapital Gold 1458 , 96.2 The Revolution and Xfm . The two major universities have their own radio stations, Fuse FM (University of Manchester) and MMU Radio (Manchester Metropolitan University).

The national daily newspaper The Guardian was founded in Manchester in 1821 as The Manchester Guardian . Its main office is currently still in Manchester, but its headquarters were relocated to London in 1964. The sister publication Manchester Evening News is the highest-circulation daily evening paper in Great Britain. It is freely available in the city center on Thursday and Friday, and the newspaper is sold in the suburbs. A number of local magazines are also offered, including YQ Magazine and Moving .



There are two universities in Manchester, the University of Manchester ( The University of Manchester ) and the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). The latter was a technical university until 1992. Until the merger with Victoria University of Manchester in 2004 to form the University of Manchester, the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) was the third university in Manchester.

The University of Manchester is affiliated with an independent business school ( Manchester Business School ) specializing in finance and doctoral programs, which also offers its program in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Jamaica. In 2006, the university was ranked 22nd in the Financial Times ranking in a global Master of Business Administration comparison.

The branch of the Royal College of Music in London is the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. The Manchester City College is another training center in the city. There is also a university in the neighboring city of Salford , the University of Salford . The University of Bolton is also located in Greater Manchester .


The Manchester airport is after London Heathrow and Gatwick 's third largest airport in the United Kingdom. Around 18 million passengers are handled annually. There are direct connections to continental Europe (including Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne / Bonn, Munich, Stuttgart, Vienna) and intercontinental airports (including New York, Washington, Singapore).

Local public transport is based on city ​​buses and the Manchester Metrolink light rail system , which runs largely on former railway lines. Three bus lines (Metroshuttle 1, 2 and 3), which connect the most important points in the city center with inner-city express buses, can be used free of charge. Direct long-distance bus routes connect the city with London , Liverpool , Birmingham , Leeds and Scotland, among others . The light rail expansion program was approved by the government in July 2006. This program provides for an expansion of the light rail network totaling 1.5 billion pounds.

Manchester is a rail transport hub. Manchester Piccadilly Central Station is England's busiest train station outside of London. The other central stations Oxford Road and Victoria serve regional traffic.

The inland canals Manchester Canal , Bolton & Bury Canal , Rochdale Canal , Manchester Ship Canal , Bridgewater Canal , Ashton Canal and the Leigh branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal were important routes of transport in the past. Today they mainly serve as a route for excursion boats ( narrowboats ).


Places around Manchester that became important in the wake of industrialization are Altrincham , Sale , Stretford , Ashton-under-Lyne , Bury , Bolton , Oldham , Rochdale , Salford , Stockport and Wigan .

To the southeast of the city is the Peak District National Park . The Lake District National Park , which lies north of the city, is easily accessible by car .

Town twinning


Main article: List of personalities from the city of Manchester


  • Stuart Hylton: A history of Manchester . Phillimore, Chichester 2003, ISBN 1-86077-240-4 .
  • Alan Kidd: Manchester. A history . Carnegie Publications, Lancaster, 4th ed. 2006, ISBN 1-85936-128-5 .
  • Ed Glinert: The Manchester compendium. A street-by-street history of England's greatest industrial city . Allen Lane, London 2008, ISBN 978-0-7139-9971-6 .
  • Bill Williams: Jewish Manchester. An illustrated history . Breedon Books, Derby 2008, ISBN 978-1-85983-615-6 .

Web links

Commons : Manchester  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Manchester  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Duden | Manchester | Spelling, meaning, definition. Retrieved July 7, 2018 .
  2. ^ World Weather Information Service. Retrieved July 16, 2019 .
  3. Manchester Ship Canal Opens ,, accessed May 20, 2010
  4. JENNIFER WILLIAMS: Manchester bomb: June 15, 1996. A day did our city changed forever. Manchester Evening News , accessed May 25, 2017 .
  5. Restaurants of Manchester , accessed July 24, 2008
  6. John J. Parkinson-Bailey: Manchester: an Architectural History , Manchester University Press, Manchester 2000, ISBN 0-7190-5606-3 , pp. 249-250 u. 284-286
  7. ^ Paul Baker: Polari - the lost language of gay men , Routledge, 2002, ISBN 0-415-26180-5 , p. 127
  8. Take me to the gay bar? ,, March 27, 2006