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Manchester: Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

German architects visit Manchester and capture it in sunshine

Written by . Published on December 23rd 2011.


Manchester: Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

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I'VE been lucky to take almost 100 different nationalities around the city on guided tours since 1996.

It's been curious and rewarding in that time to see through other peoples' eyes how Manchester has developed - generally in an upwards direction.

This is what people think of us - and I have a bag full of quotes to prove it.

Tourists and visitors think Manchester is a handsome, occasionally beautiful city, with fascinating architecture and lively, friendly and innovative people. They love the range of food and drink and love the culture on display, and they love our sense of humour. 

If explained to them well they can't believe how significant our history is nor how negative we can be about our own city. They all faint with joy when walking around Chetham's Library.

Taking people round and getting a vision of my city through their eyes is like a breath of pure oxygen after being stuck down a tunnel - something I'm very familiar with (click here). 

At the end of the year it's good to remind ourselves of Manchester's qualities. It's virtues. It's good to get perspective on the city.

These virtues were very evident when I took a charming group of architects from Dusseldorf around the city in the midst of a glorious Indian summer.

They really enjoyed Manchester, had a grand time, although, being architects and being northern European, they wondered if our disperate planning departments in our various boroughs ever talk to each other in order to co-ordinate schemes. It's something that remains a mystery to the locals, I had to confess.

(By the way visitors also tend to believe there are more City then United fans in Manchester (there aren't), and wonder why it's so hard to find their way around the city and why that hasn't been sorted out yet. Our public transport system absolutely bemuses them - as it does across the UK.) 

These are the photographs my German group sent to me. Thanks  to Holger Mettig in particular for putting them together.

I've not labelled the locations, you can try and guess them. A game for Christmas.

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15 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

JenksDecember 23rd 2011.

Great set of photo's...I love this City. However, there are more City fans than Utd fans in Manchester.

1 Response: Reply To This...
ManintheMoonFebruary 8th 2012.

Yes, it's perfectly logical...the rest of the world supports United, due to their tremendous success and history, yet the majority of people in Manchester, apparently, buck the trend and support a football club who, despite showing great promise of late, struggle to fill their own stadium, consistently struggle to sell their allocation of away tickets to far away places like Everton, and have been largely a laughing stock for so many years. Hmmmm, how strange....and why do you think that is? Heehee, do you really believe that Jenks?

tblzebraDecember 23rd 2011.

Superb set of pictures Jonathan.

I'm intrigued by the one of the clock with the nubile women in relief either side - I know it's not the main one on Victoria Station - where is it?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 23rd 2011.

Only a guess, but I think it's St James building on Oxford St.

tblzebraDecember 23rd 2011.

I don't think it's on St James' building anon; it definitely looks like it's on the Victoria Station building, as it matches the main facade clock:

farm4.static.flickr.com/…/4615_546f773264_o.jpg…

Howard BamforthDecember 23rd 2011.

These guys were so lucky to have you as their tour guide Jonathan - and thank you for sharing these fabulous images!

Maggie MilnerDecember 23rd 2011.

Amazing photos - make my so proud of my city!! you can take the girl out of Ancoats but you can't tkae Ancoats out of the girl!!

Jonathan Schofield - editorDecember 24th 2011.

That's lovely Howard, thanks.

Hero
peeDecember 24th 2011.

Really good photos, good to see the city through other peoples eyes, fresh eyes.

George Powell shared this on Facebook on December 24th 2011.
FrikaDecember 26th 2011.

Great piece this and lovely photographs

FrikaDecember 26th 2011.

Manchester can be both beautiful and ugly. That in a way is it's appeal. This isn't Chester

At's OffDecember 28th 2011.

God, the old Daiy Express building on Great Ancoats Street is lovely

CBDecember 30th 2011.

I can personally vouch for Jonathan's tours - an excellent guide.

Great shots too.

Ghostly TomApril 30th 2012.

Great set of pictures! We had visitors from Orange County in California. After visiting Manchester they went to Barcelona. They preferred Manchester.

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