Birmingham InformationBirmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands County of England, the most populous British city after London, with a population of 1,028,701 according to the 2009 census. It is located in the center of the West Midlands urban communities, second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a population of 2,284,093 according to 2001 census. Birmingham's metropolitan area is also second most populous with 3,683,000 inhabitants.
Today Birmingham is a major international commercial, transport, entertainment and conference center, ranked as a global city.
With its three universities and two university colleges it is the largest center of higher education in the United Kingdom outside London. For the last twenty years Birmingham has been ranked as one of the top 20 most livable cities in the world.
Birmingham locationBirmingham is located in the center of the West Midlands region of England on the Birmingham Plateau, from150 till 300 m above the sea level. Together with the towns Solihull and Wolverhampton Birmingham belongs to the West Midlands Urban Area, covering 600 km2 (232 sq mi) with a population of 2,284,093 according to 2001 Census.
Birmingham weatherThe city has as a temperate maritime climate, with average maximum temperatures in summer (July) being around 20 °C (68 °F); and in winter (January) temperatures are about 4.5 °C (40.1 °F). Extreme weather is rare but some strong storms can occur in summer time. In winter snow is not rare due to the city’s inland location and comparatively high elevation above the sea level.
Birmingham historyThe proof that life existed at the site of the present day Birmingham more than 10,400 years ago are artifacts discovered near Curzon Street in the city center. In the early 7th century, Birmingham was an Anglo-Saxon farming village on the banks of the River Rea. It is commonly believed that the name 'Birmingham' comes from "Beorma inga ham", meaning descendants of Beorma.
In 1166 Birmingham was transformed from a village to a market place by the holder of the manor of Birmingham, Peter De Birmingham who had been granted a royal chart to hold a market in his castle. The members of this family were continuously Lords of Birmingham until the 1530s.
In the 16th century the supplies of iron ore and coal originated metalworking industries. In the 17th century Birmingham developed into an important manufacturing town producing even small weapons. During the Industrial Revolution (from the mid18th century onwards), Birmingham was a prosperous town growing rapidly into a major industrial center. During the 18th century, local humanists and industrialists had formed the famous Lunar Society, an important society that improved the quality of life in the city.
The town was at the forefront of worldwide developments in science, technology and economic organization, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society. The city with thousands of small workshops specialized in highly-skilled crafts, achieved exceptional levels of creativity and innovation. An economic base for industrial prosperity was formed that lasted almost until the end of the 20th century.
At the beginning of 19th century, an extensive canal system was constructed, giving greater access to natural resources for the new industries. Railways arrived in Birmingham in 1837. During the Victorian era, the population of Birmingham grew rapidly to well over half a million and Birmingham became the second largest city in England. Birmingham was granted city status in 1889 by Queen Victoria.
Birmingham suffered heavy bomb damage during The Second World War. In recent years, the construction of new squares and The Millennium Place have changed the cityscape of Birmingham. Old streets, buildings and canals have been restored, the pedestrian subways have been removed and big shopping centers have developed.
Birmingham tourist attractionsAs Birmingham mainly developed during the Industrial Revolution, relatively few buildings have survived from its earlier history. There are 1,946 listed buildings in Birmingham and 13 ancient monuments.
Traces of medieval Birmingham can be seen in the oldest churches, the original parish church, St. Martin in the Bull Ring,a number of buildings from the medieval and Tudor periods have survived, we can mention just a few of them like the Lad in the Lane and The Old Crown, the 15th century pub Saracen's Head and Old Grammar School in Kings Norton.
A number of Georgian buildings have survived, including St Philip's Cathedral, Soho House, Perrott's Folly, the Town Hall and St Paul's Square. There are interesting buildings from the Victorian era such as the Victoria Law Courts ,the Council House and the Museum & Art Gallery. St. Chad's Cathedral has been the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the UK since the Reformation. On the other side of the city there stretch miles of redbrick terrace houses built for industrial workers.
In recent years the city has been changing with construction of many new modern buildings.
Museums and galleriesBirmingham Museum & Art Gallery is best known for its outstanding collection by the Pre-Raphaelite painters. A display of old masters including major works by Bellini, Rubens, Canaletto and Claude Monet, as well as rich collections of seventeenth century Italian Baroque painting and English watercolors attract numerous visitors.
When you visit this exceptional city, you will find many museums to your choice like The Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Edgbaston, one of the finest small art galleries in the world, displaying a collection of exceptional quality that represents Western art from the thirteenth century to the present day. You may visit Aston Hall, Blakesley Hall, the Museum of the Jewelery Quarter, Soho House, and Sarehole Mill, a popular attraction for fans of J. R. R. Tolkien
Think-tank is Birmingham's main science museum with a planetarium and a collection that includes the world's oldest working steam engine. Other science-based museums include the National Sea Life Center, the Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham and the Center of the Earth Environmental Education in Winston Green.
Birmingham is well known for its night life and various kinds of entertainment. Nightlife in Birmingham is mainly concentrated along Broad Street. Numbers of interesting festivals are held in the city every year.