Birmingham is one of the best cities to live in the UK. It’s a multicultural city located roughly at the center of Britain. If you would like to know something interesting about Birmingham besides its shopping centers and multicultural society, have a glimpse at the following facts:
- With a population of over 1.1 million inhabitants and US$ 121 billion GDP, it is the second-largest metropolitan area in the UK after London
- Birmingham is the greenest city in the UK with 80,000 acres of land occupied by 600 parks. The city beats Paris in the amount of open space left for recreation. One notable park in Birmingham is Sutton Park which is one of Europe’s biggest urban parks.
- The Birmingham Bullring has been a marketplace since the beginning of the 12th century. The facility was revamped in 1999 to become one of the prime shopping centers in Europe. It only comes third among the top shopping centers most frequented by Britons. When the current architectural wonder of the mall was being built in 1999, a range of archeological items was unearthed and can be viewed in Birmingham Museum.
- Birmingham was home to the 18th century richest man.
Birmingham’s own Mathew Boulton was a shrewd industrialist who went on to become 18th century’s wealthiest man. At the peak of his prominence, he owned a fortune considered to be one and a half times what Bill Gates has today. He built himself an elegant mansion in Soho where he occasionally met with the Lunar Society.
- The city of Birmingham has longer running canals compared to most other cities in Europe, to be specific, longer than those in Venice – Birmingham has a 36-mile canal system; Venice has a 27-mile canal system.
Bonus fact: The steam engine that drove the industrial revolution was invented in Birmingham by Thomas Newcomen in 1712. For this reason, July 14 – known locally as the Black Country Day –is celebrated every year to celebrate the city’s industrial heritage.