The change and influence of the last decade and a half has been nearly as dramatic. It began with a musical revolution, was interrupted by a bomb and has climaxed in the transformation of Manchester into a modern metropolis that has embraced 21st-century style and technology like no other in England. The envy of any urban centre in Europe, it is surely indicative of more than just northern one-upmanship over London and the south that Manchester looks to Barcelona as its main rival and inspiration.
Manchester is a major city in the northwest of England with a rich industrial heritage. The Castlefield conservation area’s 18th-century canal system recalls the city’s days as a textile powerhouse, and visitors can trace this history at the interactive Museum of Science & Industry. The revitalised Salford Quays dockyards now house the Daniel Libeskind-designed Imperial War Museum North and the Lowry cultural centre.