No matter where we live, we all remember the sinking of the famous ship Titanic, which occurred on the night of April 14th-15th, 1912.
We have all seen any of the many movies that have been made on the subject, the best known is undoubtedly the latest version with Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet in 1997.
Did you know that the company that owned the Titanic, the "White Star Line", was based in Liverpool? Yes, it was. The ship was built in the Belfast shipyard, and on its first and only voyage, went from the shipyard to Liverpool, which was its first port of call, where stayed overnight, and then continue to Southhampton, where the passengers boarded.
The building that houses the company was in the port and for many years was abandoned. After many popular struggles, as the Titanic is a world symbol, has been bought and thus saved from abandonment, and has been converted into a hotel!
Entering this building is like immersing yourself in history, although, as there were offices that were transformed into a hotel, there is little or nothing left of what it was once. But if you go to the top floor, you will get to the hotel restaurant and its terrace. Even if you don’t dine, you still can enjoy a good glass of wine while admiring the stunning views of the city from this viewpoint full of history.
You won´t regret it.
Address: 30 James Street.
SOME SAVOURY PIES
We know that for the British, a “pie” is a cake, but they don´t only have extremely sweet cakes in their cuisine. There are also savoury “pies”, which are delicious.
Among the best known and loved by the British, we have the famous "shepherd´s pie", a traditional dish made with minced lamb covered in mashed potato and baked in the oven.
If the pie is made with veal instead of lamb, the taste changes and so does the name: it is called "cottage pie".
If we replace the meat with fish, we have the traditional "fisherman´s pie". There is even a vegetarian option with pulses, beans or soya protein called “shepherd´s pie”, so there´s no excuse to try it!
There is another well-known and much-loved savoury pie option: “steak and kidney pie”, made with beef and kidneys.
When we replace mashed potatoes with puff pastry, our "pies" are immediately called "pudding", for example, "steak and kidney pudding".
This type of typically English food can be found in any pub in the city. Of course, we should have a good English or Irish beer with it. The best would be an “ale”. Ale is a name that covers all top-fermented beers. This makes them different from “lagers”, which are usually low fermented. This means that in “ale”, the fermentation process takes place at the surface, and in “lager”, it occurs near the bottom, and is achieved by using a special type of yeast (saccharomyces cerevisiae) that floats on the surface for several days before descending to the bottom.
It´s a substantial dish, but you´ll love it. Choose which pie you´re going to eat!
Where: any pub in town.
WITH THE BEATLES!
It´s known that much of the city´s fame is due to the most famous band of all times: The Beatles!
The city has a huge shopping centre called Liverpool ONE. Surely, either you or someone you know is a Beatles fan, so taking a Beatles souvenir is on your list of things to do during your trip.
As we don´t want any of your family get angry because you don´t bring them at least a Beatles fridge magnet, here are a few tips on how to find them.
There are a couple of Beatles memorabilia shops: one located in The Beatles museum and another very close to the famous club where they started their career: The Cavern.
As all this merchandising is obviously official, the prices are usually high. You can find CD´S, guitar picks with the logo, postcards, photographs and even clothes copied from some of their most iconic performances.
If you like The Beatles, or you have to buy some souvenirs and you don´t want to spend a lot of money, we recommend you to go to the different shops located in the Royal Albert Dock. This is a complex of buildings that were built in 1855 to store the different goods that arrived at the port of Liverpool. Today that is no longer its purpose, as its main use stopped to be relevant when the port importance declined in the XX century.
Today, the “docks” have been converted into flats, museums, restaurants and small shops.
Stroll along them, there are several souvenir shops where you can also find Beatles memorabilia, but at much better prices than in the official shops, and while you´re at it, you can sit down for a drink if the shopping takes too long.
Where: the addresses of the official shops are along Gower Street, where The Beatles museum and its own shop are located, and 31 Mathew Street, where the official shop "The Beatles Shop" is.
If you prefer souvenir shops at a better price, you will have to go to the Albert Dock docks and walk around the inner area where the water is.
A PHOTO WITH LENNON (ALLOWED BY YOKO)
There are characters from our history that we all know despite the fact we like them or not.
This is the case of John Lennon, and due to the fact we can´t take a photo with him because he was murdered, how about taking one with his statue?
John Lennon was born on October 9th 1940 here in Liverpool, and was murdered in New York on December 8th 1980, when he was going home at Dakota building with his wife.
It was 10:50pm when Mark David Chapman shot John five times. Four shots in the back and one in his left shoulder ended the life of this magnificent artist. When he was taken to the Roosevelt Hospital, very close to the Dakota building, he was pronounced dead. It was 11pm. The world lost this wonderful peace activist.
His body was cremated in New York´s Ferncliff Cemetery, and his wife Yoko Ono scattered his ashes in Central Park, in a spot where there is a monument called "Strawberry Fields", in honour of one of his most famous songs.
His killer, Chapman, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. After 20 years in prison, Chapman was eligible for parole, but it has been denied on several occasions so he still remains in prison.
Why murder someone like Lennon? There are different theories, from those who say that Chapman was a person with psychiatric problems (to which people wonder why he is not in a penal psychiatric institution); those who say that he was an obsessed fan; and even those who say that Chapman was a CIA agent who killed the musician because he was being uncomfortable for the US government due to his activism for peace and against capitalism and the fact that he was dragging a large mass of people, which could shake the order and the image of the country.
We´ll never know the truth, but we can take a picture with the statue of the artist, located just a few steps from the club where he started playing with The Beatles.
Where?: on Mathew Street.
Two cathedrals coexist in Liverpool, as the two major religions in the city are Catholic, due to Irish migration to the city in the XIX century, and Anglican.
The Anglican cathedral is the largest cathedral in England and the fifth largest in the world, and the Metropolitan Catholic Cathedral of Christ the King is its Catholic counterpart, built with the donations of the faithful over the years.
The Protestant Cathedral, in Gothic style of XX century, is the first great work designed by the young Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who, at the age of 22, signed the project in 1902 and completed it 76 years later. The cathedral not only serves today as a place of worship, but also hosts events, conferences and even has a restaurant-cafeteria. Its tower is 101 meters high and its organ is the one with most pipes in the UK. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott is also the designer of the very famous British red phone booths.
On the other hand, the Catholic cathedral, circular in shape and designed by architect Frederick Gibberd was inaugurated in 1967, houses space for 2,300 people, and has a busy chapel dedicated to St. Patrick and a huge crown of spires hanging from the central part.
The two cathedrals are quite close to each other. In fact, there is a street that links the two, called Hope Street. It is quite evocative and encouraging to see how the connection between the two religions is even reflected in the name of the street, something as necessary as hope.
In the middle of the street, unnoticed by the passer-by, is a small monument that reflects the connection between the two religions and their union for the benefit of the parishioners. This monument is known as Sheppard-Worlock, which are the surnames of two religous men: the first was the Anglican bishop of the city between 1975 and 1997 and the second was the Catholic archbishop of Liverpool between 1976 and 1996; and they worked together to defend life in community despite religious differences.
The shape of the monument is that of two doors, each with the relief of one of the religious men who seem to be talking about their parish membership. In fact, if you stand between the two doors, you have a view of both cathedrals at the same time.
An iconic and symbolic place that no one is going to show you.
Where: Hope Street.
SINGING LIKE THE BEATLES
Among the many emblematic places related to the Beatles, such as Strawberry Fields, or Penny Lane, there is one that has become a music icon, and that is undoubtedly The Cavern Club.
This club opened its doors in 1957 and is where in 1961, Brian Epstein met the famous band that played 292 times between 1961 and 1963.
The Cavern is a place of pilgrimage for fans, but it is also one of the most important live music venues in the world.
It began as a jazz club but soon embraced the beat movement, becoming the mecca it is today thanks to the Beatles.
The original club closed in 1973 during the construction of the Merseyrail Underground line, but was rebuilt with many of the bricks from the original, occupying 75% of the old space, and is exactly as it was originally. In fact, it continues operating as a live music venue with DJs on Fridays and Saturdays.
Its importance is such that bands and artists like Queen, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, The Who have performed there. Even Paul McCartney returned to the stage in 1999!
It now operates as a pay-as-you-go venue, and bands forfeit a pre-paid deposit if they don´t reach a (pre-agreed) number of spectators. The Cavern is also used for secret gigs announced at the last minute.
Wouldn´t it be great to see live music right there in this temple of music? And wouldn´t it be even cooler to be able to sing Beatles songs right there with one of the musicians who put on these shows (there are always some).
And if that´s not the case, does it matter? Do you dare to enjoy a crazy night in the place and sing like the Beatles? If they don´t let you on stage, don´t be upset, back at the hotel you can bring out your vocal virtues and sing in the same street that saw these legendary musicians walk! Dare you!
Address: 10, Mathew Street.
A LEGENDARY HOTEL
If you asked a Liverpool resident about the Adelphi Hotel, they would surely tell you that it is one of the landmarks because it was part of the history of the city for almost 200 years.
This hotel was built in 1826 by James Radley on the first public recreational site of the city, the Ranelagh Gardens. This first building was replaced by another in 1876, with over 300 rooms and 140 employees, which helped make it the most renowned hotel in the world, not only for its service but also for its unique turtle soup, prepared in the basement of the hotel where there were huge tanks of hot water to keep the animals alive. This soup was so famous that 40 litres of soup a day were distributed to luxury hotels in Europe. This was the favourite hotel of Charles Dickens, who stayed here 3 times between 1826 and 1870.
In order to be updated, it was demolished and rebuilt again, reopening in 1914, as the magnificent building we can see today. It was so modern that it had heating, a heated swimming pool, tennis and squash courts, Turkish baths, shooting galleries, two restaurants offering French and English cuisine, and something that made it unique in the country: telephone in every room.
During the early XX century, it became a favourite for transoceanic travellers, including passengers of the Titanic on its inaugural voyage, as well as many more celebrities, such as Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Bob Dylan.
Intrigues, espionage, murderers and suicides have taken place at the hotel. It has been the meeting place of the city´s main Masonic lodge for events and banquets, and there are still today friezes in the restaurant bearing Masonic symbolism. It even has its own theatre, which was accessed by horse-drawn carriages to watch the performances.
It is, without a doubt, an emblematic place, with a great history, which will immerse you in the past as you enter. You can stroll around the common areas, go for dinner or have a drink in the pub.
Address: Ranelagh St, Liverpool L3 5UL.
CLASSIC Y AVANT-GARDE
The city of Liverpool has been important since its birth, as well as its port (don´t forget that Liverpool was called "the gateway to the Americas"), so it may be very interesting to walk through its old buildings, among which we will find the most emblematic, classic and avant-garde ones of this city in permanent renovation.
We will start our walk in the part known as Albert Dock, where we will see how the old port warehouses built in 1855 and dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria´s husband, Albert, have been refurbished and turned into flats, but we will also find hotels, restaurants and small shops. In this complex, it is worth mentioning the presence of 4 museums: "Beatles Story", dedicated to the band; the famous "Tate Modern", designed by James Stirling in 1985 and opened to the public in 1988, housing part of the collection of modern art of the Tate of London (which you will recognize by its red Doric colonnade); and two more museums that are in the same complex, the Slavery Museum and the Maritime Museum.
The first was inaugurated in August 2007 and is the first permanent museum dedicated to the transatlantic slave trade. It is important, among other things, because in this way, the city takes on one of its darkest historical episodes, the trade in human beings. This museum is located on the top floor of the Maritime Museum, which is very interesting for its objects from merchant history, but above all for the objects belonging to the Titanic.
If we continue walking, we find the Museum of Liverpool, one of the most modern museums where you can discover actors, artists and sportsmen of the city, a room to understand what life was like in the city in the last 200 years or the evolution since the ice age. The museum opened in 2011, is the largest national one built in the UK in the last 100 years and is entirely powered by renewable energy.
Next to it, you will find what is called "The Three Graces of Liverpool": the imposing "Port of Liverpool Building" which is the symbol of the city; the "Royal Liver Building", from 1934, was one of the first buildings in the world constructed with reinforced concrete, has 90 metres high and two towers with the mythical birds "Liver Birds", another landmark of the city; and the third one, the "Cunard Building".
And we finish our walk with the main attractions of the city: the monument dedicated to the victims of the Titanic, called the "Titanic Memorial", and a statue of the Beatles overlooking the river.
Where: they are all located in the area between Albert Dock to Princes Parade, always close to the River Mersey.
A HARD DAY´S NIGHT
There are times when tourist life becomes exhausting, and in order to continue our adventure with energy, we need to take a break.
As the Beatles´ song says, if it´s been a hard day (rather than a hard night), what better place to take a break and watch life goes by than at the iconic “Hard Day´s Night” hotel!?
You don´t even have to be staying there. You can just pop in for a drink in their café or restaurant.
This luxurious themed hotel, dedicated to the famous Liverpool band, has 10 Beatle-themed rooms.
It was opened in 2008, same year Liverpool was the European capital of culture. It is in a magnificent 1880s neoclassical building built by Thomas C. Clarke situated within the Grade II listed historic buildings (for your information Windsor Castle has Grade I listed building).
It is built on the foundations that once housed the "Cavern Club", a meeting and performance point for the members of the band.
As a curiosity, the four most expensive suites are named after the four members of the group, and spending a night in them costs more than 1,000 euros, although a normal room costs just over 100.
The most requested suite is the John Lennon one, decorated in white tones and with a white piano similar to the one in the famous "Imagine" video.
It also has a wedding hall, celebration rooms for up to 75 people and even a chapel! so it might be a good time to have a second wedding (if you´re already married) or a first one if you´re not. But please, a themed one!
If you don´t want to make such a big commitment, take a break in the cafeteria, and take some photos of yourself on the façade, which has statues of the 4 members of the group. You´ll never forget it!
Where: here´s the address, Central Buildings, N John St, Liverpool L2 6RR; just behind the Cavern Club.
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