So you might ask, is there more to Liverpool than the Beatles and the Liverpool Football Club? Definitely, as we discovered on our weekend trip, and here's a trivia question to ponder as you read more about it--what do you call a person who lives in Liverpool?
Liverpool is situated along the western coast of England just 134 miles from Dublin, Ireland. The Albert Dock is where we started our day as many tourists do,
and within walking distance we were near the Pier Head where we found some stunning varieties of architecture. The St. Nicholas and Our Lady Church sits in the shadow of more modern buildings.
To get a better perspective of the Pier Head, we boarded the local ferry that shuttles passengers along the River Mearsey which eventually leads out to the Irish Sea. It was fascinating to me to learn that between the 18th-19th century, 40% of the world's trade passed through Liverpool. Forty percent! The dominant trade at that time was the African slave trade, and a triangle developed between Liverpool, Africa and the West Indies. During this time, Liverpool prospered and grew from the profits of the slave trade.
In this century, UNESCO has designated Liverpool as a World Heritage Site, primarily because of its impressive waterfront. There are the Three Graces of Pier Head--3 buildings of exceptional beauty. First is the Port of Liverpool Building, built at the beginning of the 20th century.
The second of the Three Graces is the Cunard Building, home of Cunard Steamship Company, the world's most famous shipping company who later merged with its competitor, the White Star Line, builder of the Titanic. The Cunard's most famous ships were the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary.
And the most impressive of all is the Liver Building, home of the Royal Liver Assurance Group. The Liver refers to the two Liver birds perched on each end of the building. You say Liver--rhymes with diver. The mythical Liver bird has been the symbol of Liverpool since Medieval times. Legend has it that the female Liver bird faces outward towards the sea to look for any handsome sailors coming up the river, and the male bird looks inward to see if the pubs are open. I'm just reporting what I hear....
Also, legend has it that if one Liver bird ever flies away, Liverpool would cease to exist. (Sounds very similar to the raven's story at the Tower of London, if you ask me.)
The clocks on the face of the building have as their claim to fame, that they are even larger than the clock on Big Ben itself.
And if that wasn't enough culture for you, what do you think about these Lambananas? Bet your town doesn't have any of those. In 2008, 125 replicas of the Super Lambanana of Liverpool, which is 17 feet tall, invaded the town of Liverpool as part of the celebration of its designation as the European Capital of Culture. Enough said.
So what do you call residents who hail from Liverpool? Another good trivia question here for you to store away.
You call them Liverpudlians!