Following the Fab Four
An MSC Northern Europe cruise to England is the perfect opportunity to discover the dynamic, exciting port of Liverpool: it’s a vibrant city with a Tate Gallery of its own, a series of innovative museums and a fascinating social history.
And of course it also makes great play of its musical heritage – as well it should, considering that this is the place that gave the world The Beatles. The main sights are scattered throughout the centre of town, but you can easily walk between most of them.
If you want a cathedral, they’ve “got one to spare” as the song goes; plus there’s a fine showing of British art in the celebrated Walker Art Gallery and Tate Liverpool, and a multitude of exhibits in the terrific World MuseumLiverpool. When you step ashore from your MSC cruise, you can’t miss St George’s Hall, one of Britain’s finest Greek Revival buildings and a testament to the wealth generated from transatlantic trade.
Now primarily an exhibition venue, but once Liverpool’s premier concert hall and crown court, its vaulted Great Hall features a floor paved with thirty thousand precious Minton tiles (usually covered over), while the Willis organ is the third largest in Europe. Huge and flashy, in a show-stopping Danish-designed building, the Museum of Liverpool opened in 2011. Spread over three floors, the galleries play on Liverpool’s historic status as the “second city of Empire”, exploring the complex political and life histories that have unfolded in a community whose wealth and social fabric were built on international trade.
Dominating the waterfront are the so-called Three Graces – namely the Port of Liverpool Building (1907), Cunard Building (1913) and, most prominently, the 322ft-high Royal Liver Building (1910), topped by the “Liver Birds”, a couple of cormorants that have become the symbol of the city.