Bristol is a city, unitary authority and a ceremonial county in southwest England and lies on the River Avon. With about 433 100 inhabitants (2009), it is the eighth largest city of England and the eleventh largest city in the United Kingdom. The city Brycgstow (Old English, the site of the bridge) existed at the beginning of the 11th Century and was under Norman rule one of the strongest castles in southern England. In the 12th Century it became a major port city, especially for trade with Ireland. 1247 a new bridge built and the town continued to grow strongly. In 1373 she became a county. Bristol became a center of shipbuilding.
Until its dissolution in England under Edward I took advantage of the Knights Templar Bristol as the main port for pilgrims and for the export of wool to the Continent, especially after La Rochelle in France. In the not inconsiderable house and property owned by the Templars in Bristol still remember various industrial and street names, including the Bristol Temple Meads (“Templar meadows”).
In the 14th Century, just before the arrival of the plague of 1348 was Bristol to London and York, the third largest city in England with about 15,000 to 20,000 inhabitants. The disease caused a prolonged decline in population. However, the population remained in the 15th and 16 Century and was stable 10000-12000 inhabitants. 1497 Bristol was the starting point of John Cabot’s voyage of discovery to North America. Received the 1542 Bristol city charter, the former Abbey of St. Augustine became a cathedral. During the Civil War from 1643 to 1645 Bristol was occupied by royal troops and devastated.
Every summer, the Bristol Balloon Fiesta held, one of the biggest events ever for hot air balloons. In addition, Bristol is recognized birthplace of trip-hop, especially the artists as Portishead, Tricky, Massive Attack is represented and has found imitators all over the world. In addition, the Bristol based animation studio Aardman Animations, which include the Oscar -winning Wallace & Gromit -produced films. Bristol is the birthplace of actor Cary Grant , the artist Damien Hirst and the pop musician Nik Kershaw. Is also connected the city with the English Romantic : Thomas Chatterton and Robert Southey were born here and Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived in the 1790s in Bristol.
Bristol is one of the most beautiful cities in England, partly due to the combination of seashore and hilly landscape, and secondly, because in spite of great destruction in the Second World War (such as the Temple Church was obtained), many of the old building and rebuild. In addition to the city center with the waterfront at the harbor, where, for example, the @ t Bristol, a whole complex of IMAX cinema (closed since March 31, 2007), a technology museum, etc. is created to pull the two suburbs Clifton and Redland at the northwest many visitors, because many houses of the 18th and 19 Century can be admired. Also spectacular is that of Isambard Kingdom Brunel built Clifton Suspension Bridge, a suspension bridge, which rests on two large stone pillars and crosses the deep gorge of the Avon at 75 meters height.