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A view of downtown Manchester. In front you can see the cathedral and the "Wheel of Manchester", a ferris wheel. In the background you can see part of the skyline of the business district.

Manchester is a city in the United Kingdom, in the north of England. The city is inland, but there is a canal that connects it with the Irish sea. This is the sea between Great Britain and Ireland. Manchester has a population of around 550,000, making it the country's fourth largest city after London, Birmingham and Glasgow.

About 2000 years ago, the Romans established a military camp called Mancunium castrum on the Irwell River. The name is a mixture of Latin and Celtic and roughly means "camp on the breast-shaped hill". After the Romans left Britain, the Anglo-Saxons settled there and founded a city that they named Mameceaster, reffering to the name of the roman camp. Later this name became Manchester.

A painting from the 19th century: A couple is sitting in a park. In the background you can see the gloomy factory chimneys.

The textile industry made Manchester big and rich. Immigrants from Flanders settled in the city as early as the late Middle Ages and began to process wool and linen into clothing. A few centuries later, industrialization came to England. In the beginning, the cotton mills were powered by water power from the nearby streams. Later they switched to steam power, which required a lot of coal. But many other things were also produced in large factories in and around Manchester.

Around 1930 the textile industry in Manchester became less and less important. Today money is earned more in other sections. Examples are the construction of airplanes, electronic devices or cars. Manchester later also became an important center for computer science. The first modern computer was developed there in the years after 1940.

Because Manchester was so important to industry, it was almost completely destroyed by the Germans in World War II. Today there are almost only modern buildings in the city. The landmarks include the cathedral, the town hall and the "Wheel of Manchester", a ferris wheel. There is also a university in Manchester and many places for music, art and culture. In the “Museum of Industry and Science” you can learn a lot about the history of industrialization.

Just outside is the "Old Trafford" stadium, where Manchester United's home games are played. Manchester City, the city's other major football club, plays in the somewhat smaller Etihad Stadium, which was formerly known as the City of Manchester Stadium. The clubs are rivals and are among the best in England.