For years, Birmingham had a reputation of an ugly, uninteresting city, until finally the time for change has come. It started with the architectural reconstruction of the city. The modernization of the center was the biggest challenge. Here, everything must be of the highest level, it has to be modern. Birmingham also has to be a city where young people have a chance for a very good education, to develop their own interests, as well as for entertainment. The second city in terms of size in England works very hard for its new image. However, it should be noted, that Birmingham is a city of change, a city in which something is always happening and it is worth spending some time to get to know it. So what is there to see in the center of Birmingham?
- The Bull Ring
We start our stroll in the most recognizable place in the city. The Bull Ring. This place has always been a trading venue. The first marketplace was established here in 1154. Peter de Bermingham (landowner) acquired the Charter of Marketing Rights from King Henry II. And so, a market was built in the settlement. Right now, in the same place where the market was located once, stands now the most modern shopping center, attracting clients from all over the world. Built with great impact. The well though design does not overwhelm its visitors. Among the shops and cafes, there emerge relics from the old days, such as the St. Martin’s church, which can be observed from the observation terrace that separates the shopping center. From here, you can clearly see Rotunda, which is the only one that has survived the reconstruction, and where you can live in and observe the city center from above. There, we will also find a Nelson’s monument, and also take a photo with a bull – a symbol of the shopping center.
It is impossible not to notice it, standing in the city center. It can serve as a landmark for those who got lost. The Rotunda is 81 meters high and has 25 floors. In the years 1965-2004, its area was intended for commercial use and since 2008, you can rent apartments at the very top of the building.
- Nelson’s Statue
Horatio Nelson visited Birmingham in 1802 – as a hero, he was revered wherever he went, and on October 25, 1809, as a sign of adoration a statue was unveiled, made by Sir Richard Westmacott. It was the first monument of Nelson in Great Britain. It was created within six months, from donations taken from working classes.
- St Martin’s Church
An interesting story connects with the patron of the church, and what is even more interesting, is that it is an inspiration for volunteers currently operating in the parish. The patron of the church is a soldier who was born in Hungary in 316. Despite the reluctance, he had to join the army, because the law ordered so and this way, at the age of eighteen, he was sent to France. As a soldier, during the winter he passed through the city and saw a half-naked beggar. Moved by the view, he gave the poor man half of his coat. That same night the soldier had a dream in which Christ appeared. After this dream, the young man was baptized. After that, Marcin became the bishop of Tours in France. An interesting story, right?
Will you flight to Birmingham? Check Birmingham Airport Park And Ride site.
If you have already seen Birmingham and want to explore England’s capital, maybe you can take a tour of London instead?