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An innovative city of science and discovery, Manchester's heritage encompasses much more than the industrial 'cottonopolis' history of the 19th century, for which it is often popularly known.

The city's cosmopolitan culture ignited the first sparks of more widespread social revolutions such as Marx and Engels' labour movement, trade unionism and the campaign for the vote for women.

Numerous intellectual endeavours, such as John Dalton's contribution to atomic theory, James Joule's contribution to modern physics and Alan Turing's contribution to computing, established Manchester as a key centre of academic discovery.

Flourishing development attracted a large immigrant population from diverse far-flung places, such as the stock exchanges of New York and Berlin, cotton fields of the American South, docks of Bombay and Calcutta and European intellectual capitals.

Industrial wealth and civic culture shaped a distinctive cityscape where distinguished pillars of Mancunian history now rub shoulders with striking contemporary architecture. Historic public buildings include the Town Hall, Victoria Baths and the neo-gothic John Rylands Library. Many warehouses, mills and factories have been converted to sleek and trendy galleries, offices and apartments, while the 21st century Beetham Tower dominates the modern skyline.

Tree-lined streets and leafy parks bring out the city's softer side, boosting Manchester's appeal as a welcoming, cosmopolitan European city.