Liverpool is famous for it's two huge cathedrals. I only really visited one, the Liverpool Cathedral, which is Anglican. It was started in the early 1900's and finished in the 70's, so it's not very old compared to most found in Europe. It is impressive though. The elderly lady who was sitting at the information desk told me that when soon after it was completed they had to add more toilets. The original building only had three, as they were not expecting hordes of school children to be visiting on a regular basis. It's a little odd to think that this building has never been just a church. It has always been somewhat of a tourist attraction.
The really odd thing about the building, which really adds to it's impressiveness, is that it has a sort of moat all the way around it. It's only sort of a moat, there isn't any water in it. Instead it seems to serve as the graveyard, with tombstones creating a wall for the path.
A little further than the church, down the same street, is Liverpool's Chinatown. According to the owner of the hostel I was staying at, Liverpool has one of the oldest Chinese communities in Europe due to it's shipping industry. It also has an impressive gate. The community in Liverpool isn't very big anymore, but it is still there.
While walking I saw this on the side of a pub that seems to be abandoned. Now I'm no expert, but that looks like a Banksy to me. Banksy is a graffiti artist who has left pieces of art on the sides of buildings all over the world. His most well known images are those of rats.
There was more graffiti on the wall opposite. These were repeated in the windows of the building for quite a while.
Liverpool has a pretty cool skyline, full of big old buildings. Unfortunately, due to Liverpool being this years Euro Capital of Culture, most of it was under construction.
Being a port city, Liverpool has a fairly substantial harbor. It reminds me of the Distillery District in Toronto. All the old warehouse buildings have been converted into stores and museums.
The building on the left houses the Tate Liverpool, which is part of the Tate Modern in London. If you are going to see at Tate museum, the one in London is much more impressive, as the Liverpool one is quite small. It did have some interesting exhibitions on, namely one on representations of the body throughout art history. It had some contemporary preformance art pieces that I had studied in a class last term, so it was super cool to finally see them in better quality than a photocopy.
Liverpool is also famous for music, namely the birthplace of the Beatles. There is an awesome museum called The Beatles Story, which is highly recommended, even by the locals. There is an audio tour included in the price of admission, which is narrated by John Lennon's sister Julia. There are interviews with people who knew the Beatles, fans and their assorted managers, recounting what it was that made them so cool.
Another wickedly cool thing to do, especially if you are in Liverpool on a Thursday, is to go to the Cavern Club. The Beatles played over 200 shows there, and plenty of other bands got their start there as well. Every Thursday, for the grand price of 1 pound, you can see the Mosey Beatles, a series of Beatles cover bands. It is wicked fun, partly to hear the music preformed live, and partly because the musicians are just so mad talented. They refered to eachother by their Beatle-name all night, saying "Ringo's going to sing his first song of the night now" or "John's going to go acoustic on this one". They play three 45minute sets, each one showcasing songs from a different period in their career.
Seeing them preform reminded me how much I love seeing live music, which I haven't done since October, in Toronto. Maybe I'll try to see more in Swansea ....