Bristol is an English city and county and one of the three administrative centres of South West England with Plymouth and Exeter).
From its earliest days, its prosperity has been linked to that of the Port of Bristol, the commercial port, which was in the city centre but has now moved to the Bristol Channel coast at Avonmouth and Portbury.
Bristol is England's eighth, and the United Kingdom's eleventh, most populous city.
As such, it is one of England's core cities.
For half a millennium Bristol had been the second largest English city after London, until the rapid rise of Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham, in the 1780s.
The Avon traditionally marks the border between Gloucestershire and Somerset.
The town of Brycgstow (Old English, "the place at the bridge") was in existence by the beginning of the 11th century, and under Norman rule acquired one of the strongest castles in southern England.
The River Avon in the city centre has slowly evolved into Bristol Harbour, and since the 12th century the harbour has been an important port, handling much of England's trade with Ireland.
The plague inflicted a prolonged pause in the population growth of Bristol, with numbers remaining at 10-12,000 through most of the 15th and 16th centuries.
Bristol was made a city in 1542, with the former Abbey of St Augustine becoming Bristol Cathedral.
During the Civil War the city suffered (1643-45) through Royalist military occupation and plague.
Nevertheless, Bristol's population (66,000 in 1801) quintupled during the 19th Century, supported by new industries and growing commerce.
It was particularly associated with the Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who designed the Great Western Railway between Bristol and London, two pioneering Bristol-built steamships, and the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The removal of the docks to Avonmouth, seven miles (11 km) downstream from the city centre, relieved congestion in the central zone and allowed substantial redevelopment of the old central dock area (the "Floating Harbour") in recent decades, although at one time the continued existence of the docks was in jeopardy as it was seen merely as derelict industry rather than a potential asset.
On March 4, 2005, Bristol was granted Fairtrade City status.
For a more information about Bristol see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Sarolta and I visited this place during our trip around the British Isles in 1978.
Well, Hui Chin and I will not forget Bristol in a big hurry, no siree!
I have seen a picture of a bridge supposed to be in Bristol, well they have many bridges here alright.
We dragged our suitcases around, jumping on buses, walking for kilometres, looking for that, - I think they called it the Millennium Bridge - without anything remotely like the picture of a bridge I seen and wanted to have a closer look at it.
Darkness descended on us, so had to give up our search for the bridge and had to start searching for a hotel.
So we asked people for the nearest hotel or B&B and we trolleied our suitcases around over one bridge, hotel full, cross another side on another bridge, hotel booked out.
A nice young lady told us later to cross the next bridge and turn right, walk down that street, beside the river, Coronation Street, there are many smaller hotels, guest houses and B&B places.
We knocked on door after door without finding any place to put our head down.
Apparently it is very difficult to find any accommodation during the week, because Britain's booming economy there are many out of town contractors booking out many of the hotels etc. nation wide for weeks,- it is easier to get a room during the weekend, - we were told, - small consolation for us on a Tuesday night.
Back to my story, we were getting tired, walking around, we were nearing the end of our patience and the end of the street I suppose, when we knocked on the door of Raglan Guest House.
We had to wait a minute or two before a very nice, kind lady came to talk to us.
She was booked out too, but took pity on us and rang another couple of places up for us until she did find a place and only couple of blocks away.
We are ever so grateful nice, kind lady, God bless you and your family.
Many, many thanks for that extra mile or a kilometre and half.
By the way we heard people calling the bridge on picture #12 as the Millenium Bridge, but whether it is or not it is nothing like the picture I have seen.
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