As I wrote in my previous post, my college was in Bristol, so we visited this wonderful city many times. Bristol is situated in Gloucestershire, a region in the South West of England, and it’s one of the most popular English cities. Its name derives from the Old English Brycgstow, meaning “the place at the bridge”: indeed it was an important trading centre; it has developed since 11th century, and as a medieval city it is characterized by many buildings that date back to that period. One of the most famous example is Bristol Cathedral, founded in 1140.
At the beginning it was a Norman Church, then it became an Anglican Cathedral church and was later rebuilt in the neo-Gothic style. Anyway, the first particular that impressed me was the green area that surrounds the Cathedral, an element that characterizes all the cities I visited in England.
The architectural styles characterizing the city of Bristol range from medieval times to 21st century. Walking around the city you are impressed by the great number of shopping centres. There are so many that you don’t know where you can start shopping first!
In particular, there’s a three-tiered shopping and leisure centre called Cabot Circus, a building covered by a glass roof in which there are 120 shops!
Another modern building is the Clifton Suspension Bridge, spanning the Avon Gorge: in 1754 a wine merchant left a legacy to build a bridge over the Gorge and his dream was realized in 1864, when the building of the bridge was completed. Walking across the bridge, even if you have a chronic fear of heights like me, you can enjoy impressive views, from the big cliffs to the heart of the town.
Moreover, we’ve visited the M shed, a museum situated on the historic harbourside, which displays the history of the city from prehistoric times to 21st century.
Finally, we attended (with more than 300,000 people) the famous Bristol Harbour festival!
We were entertained by live performances of artists, musicians, dancers, circus acts, markets and street stalls…it has been an exciting event.
There are other particular things that characterize Bristol, such as the air balloons or the famous graffiti on walls or other public places… but I think it’s time to move to the Cheddar Gorge. Let’s go!