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Location of Portsmouth in England
Location of Portsmouth in England
Coordinates 50 ° 48 ′  N , 1 ° 5 ′  W Coordinates: 50 ° 48 ′  N , 1 ° 5 ′  W
Portsmouth (England)
Residents 215,133 (as of June 30, 2018)
surface 40.25 km² (15.54  mi² )
Population density: 5345 inhabitants per km²
Post town Portsmouth
Part of the country England
Ceremonial county Hampshire
ONS code 00MR
Website: www.portsmouth.gov.uk

Portsmouth (  [ ˈpɔːtsməθ ] ) is a port city on the south coast of England in the county of Hampshire in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland . Most of it is located on Portsea Island at the mouth of the Solent and the English Channel . Portsmouth Harbor is on the sheltered west coast and Langstone Harbor is to the east. To the south, the city is separated from the Isle of Wight by the Solent . Please click to listen!Play


Although there were settlements in the area in pre-Roman times, it is widely believed that Portsmouth was founded in 1180 by Jean de Gisors . In 1194, Portsmouth received city ​​rights from King Richard I. At the same time, the port in the west of the city was built. Henry VII made Portsmouth the “Royal Dockyard” at the end of the 15th century and built the first European dry dock since ancient times. The port became the most important naval base for the Royal Navy . In the course of industrialization , numerous heavy industry companies settled here.


Ammunition and warships were manufactured in Portsmouth during World War II . In connection with its strategically important location, the city was repeatedly targeted by German bombers . Large parts of the historic old town were destroyed. On the night of June 5th to 6th, 1944, the landing in Normandy began from Portsmouth .

After the war, only small parts of the city around the port were rebuilt in the historical style. Today's cityscape is shaped by modern buildings from the 1980s. The port continues to play a major role in the city. Portsmouth is England's most important ferry terminal after Dover . However, in the 1970s, cargo handling was increasingly relocated to Southampton , 30 kilometers away . In 1995 a 130 million euro program began to redesign the old port areas. At the center of the project is a shopping mall and the 170 m high Spinnaker Tower , which was officially opened on October 17, 2005 after the project was completed more than five years later than planned and cost more than GBP 30 million instead of the original estimated £ 9 million. In addition, parts of the harbor have been converted into a modern residential and commercial district under the name Portsmouth Marina . The program was officially completed in July 2005. The city has been twinning with Duisburg since 1950 .

Portsmouth is the most densely populated city in Great Britain with 5138 inhabitants / km².


Portsmouth, Southampton, Isle of Wight (1888 map)

The military traditionally plays a major role. The Portsmouth Naval Base is the most important military port in Europe . Around 50 percent of the Royal Navy ships are stationed here, including all aircraft carriers . The Gosport submarine training center and the Royal Navy headquarters are also located here. The navy is therefore a major economic factor and the city's largest employer.

On June 28, 2005, the largest naval parade of all time took place outside Portsmouth harbor to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar . 167 ships from 36 nations, including 74 warships of the Royal Navy, took part in the event.

British sailors nicknamed both the city and the naval base Pompey . The origin of the nickname is said to be in the name of the fire department at the time, Pompiers .


The University of Portsmouth is a public university in Portsmouth. The previous institution was known as the Portsmouth Polytechnic Institute from 1969 to 1992. In 1992 the institution was given university status by government decision. The disciplines are pharmacy, mechanical engineering, mathematics, paleontology, crimmology, criminal justice and political science. According to its own information, it is one of the top 50 universities in the world.


The port city is home to the Portsmouth FC football club, founded in 1898 , which played in the top English league for seven years at the start of the millennium . Also because of major financial problems, this rose down to the fourth division . Its venue is Fratton Park with a capacity of just over 20,000 spectators in the city center.

Twin cities


Admiral Nelson's ship HMS Victory in Portsmouth

sons and daughters of the town

Individual evidence

  1. Mid 2018 Estimates of the population for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
  2. Office for National Statistics : UK Midyear Estimates 2016 , Population Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, June 22, 2017 (XLS file; 1.3 MB).
  3. Kemp, Peter (ed.): The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea . 1st edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford 1976, ISBN 0-19-211553-7 .
  4. ^ The D-Day Story. Portsmouth. Retrieved April 20, 2020 .
  5. Archived copy ( memento of the original from October 30, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.charlesdickensbirthplace.co.uk

Web links

Commons : Portsmouth  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Portsmouth  Travel Guide