Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Liverpool, Britain

Fri Oct 9, 2009 7:01am EDT
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By Julie Mollins

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - In modern times, Liverpool is often thought of as the home of The Beatles, the influential 1960s rock band that got its start in the city on the Mersey River estuary.

But, as a port town, Liverpool played an important role in the economic development of the British Empire, which by the early part of the 20th century encompassed a quarter of the Earth's land surface and population.

Liverpool grew from a small fishing village into a financial center that helped power the empire in part because of its crucial role in the transatlantic slave trade -- the so-called trade triangle -- comprised of Europe, Africa and the Americas.

Between 1700 and 1807, about 1.5 million Africans were transported into slavery on ships that sailed from Liverpool, Britain's main slaving port, to the Americas.

Liverpool was also a major conduit for emigration from Ireland, Britain and northern Europe. More than 9 million people sailed from Liverpool to settle as immigrants in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand between 1830 and 1930.

Here is a selection of things to do while visiting:


5:45 p.m. - Visit the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King to hear the choir during the evening service. The round cathedral, designed by Frederick Gibberd and completed in 1967, has a unique spire resembling a crown.   Continued...