Sightseeing in Manchester
Museum of Science and Industry
Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry has been a city staple since it was first opened in 1969 and is a popular travel attraction in the UK. The Museum was originally known as the North-Western Museum of science and Industry before being renamed and merging with the National Science Museum in 2012. There are a number of exhibitions currently being displayed at the Museum, with many of the displays revolving around the theme of transport. Many exhibitions have been influenced by the development of transport within Manchester, and the Museum is situated on the site of the first ever railway station in the world, Manchester Liverpool Road. There are two resident steam trains at the Museum, and guests can ride the steam trains at weekend and during bank holidays. As well as trains and planes, the Museum has a variety of other exhibitions on display, including a number of operational industrial machines such as hot-air engines, electric generators, and spinning and weaving machines.
One of Manchester’s most popular and famous sites is Urbis, a quirky, modern architectural masterpiece, and home of the National Football Museum. The Museum was originally located in Preston before being moved to Manchester in 2010. The Museum has a number of coveted football artefacts on display amongst its four floors, including a football rule book dating back to 1863, the world’s oldest women’s-only football kill, and the ball from the famous 1966 World Cup. The Museum is also famous for its array of interactive exhibitions, including a number of audio and video clippings from matches, player biographies, and a run-through of the rules of football and the roles of the referees. In 2004, the President of FIFA referred to the Museum as a ‘real jewel’ and the Museum has subsequently been awarded a number of awards and accolades.
The John Rylands Library
If you’re interested in architecture, the John Rylands Library should be high on your sight-seeing list. The building is a late Victorian, Gothic masterpiece, artfully designed to resemble a church, with the exterior facade designed to emulate a monastery entrance. The library was commissioned by Mrs Enriqueta Rylands in 1889 as a memorial library built in her deceased’s husband’s honour.
The original library contained approximately 40,000 books and was officially opened on the 6th October 1899 – the Rylands’ wedding anniversary. By 1900, the library had more than 70,000 books. Today, the library is a staple part of The University of Manchester and its student libraries.
The Imperial War Museum North
Situated slightly out of the city centre in nearby Salford, the Imperial War Museum North is a must go for any visitors to the area. If you’re staying in the centre, a short taxi ride will get you to the Museum in no time, be assured there’s plenty of taxis in Manchester so you won’t be waiting too long! The building was first opened in 2002 and admitted almost 500,000 visitors in its first year. The Museum is famous for its modernised exhibitions, including its regularly audio-visual presentations and explorations of world conflicts, past and present. The presentations are known as the ‘Big Picture’ and comprise more than 1,500 of the Museum’s historical image archive. Several other artefacts are also on permanent display in the Museum, including a Soviet tT-34 tank and the field gun responsible for shooting the British Army’s first shot in the First World War.
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