World Heritage #1150 – Liverpool

Last modified 08.05.2023 | Published 19.03.2010North and Central Europe, United Kingdom, World Heritage Sites

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There is more to Liverpool than a couple of football clubs and pop bands. In the harbour area it is easy to notice the Liverpool’s legacy as a major port in the cross-Atlantic slave trade.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

Official facts

  • Full name: Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City
  • Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Date of Inscription: 2004
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 1150:

“Six areas in the historic centre and docklands of the maritime mercantile City of Liverpool bear witness to the development of one of the world’s major trading centres in the 18th and 19th centuries. Liverpool played an important role in the growth of the British Empire and became the major port for the mass movement of people, e.g. slaves and emigrants from northern Europe to America. Liverpool was a pioneer in the development of modern dock technology, transport systems and port management. The listed sites feature a great number of significant commercial, civic and public buildings, including St George’s Plateau.”

Liverpool was in 2021 removed from the list after an argument between the Committee and local authorities. Prior to that Liverpool had been featured on UNESCO’s “in danger” list for almost a decade. By 2021 UNESCO decided that years of urban development had led to an “irreversible loss” to the historical value of its Victorian docks. Sandalsand will keep this article live for historical reasons.

My visit

Liverpool’s legacy is football, the Beatles and the docklands. Here is a quote from my 2010 article:

The Liverpool docklands were vast in size and fast at investing in new technology. For instance the Albert Dock (1846) was the first enclosed non-combustible dock warehouse system in the world. The beginning of the 20th century did however bring changes to Liverpool, changes in the shape of decline and stagnation. The decline lasted for the better part of the 20th century.

Since the mid-1990’s or so the docklands and Liverpool as such, are yet again full of life and development, but of a totally different character than before. Today the Albert docks which we visited houses museums, several bars and restaurants and many shops. The city, together with my home town Stavanger, was in 2008 the European Capital of Culture.

Read more about my visit.

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Video from Liverpool