Leeds, the favourite child of the New Urban Revolution, that unassailableinattacabile force that has turned punch-drunkstordite postindustrial cities into visions of the future. And the future round these parts is all about retail. For Leeds is the ‘Knightsbridge of the North’, the shopping mecca whose counter is just getting longer. Its heart is lined with busy pedestrianised streets, packed with shops, restaurants, upstanding Victorian edifices and stunningfavolose arcadesgallerie.Underpinningincentrandosi Leeds’ remarkable ability to turn a profit from hedonism is the ubiquitous northern
gritfermezza, that stubborntestarda fortitude that has overcome the demisemorte, decesso of the city’s textile industry and seen it become the country’s second-most important financial centre after London.
Leeds Art Gallery
Its collections also include 19th century works. The gallery was built 1886-1888 by W. H. Thorp, and opened in 1888 as Leeds City Art Gallery and was paid for by public subscription. Ten key works, for a short visit:
In front of the gallery is Victoria Square, at the eastern end of which is the city's war memorial.
Leeds Royal Armouries Museum
Leeds' most interesting museum is undoubtedly the Royal Armouries, originally built to house the armour and weapons from the Tower of London but subsequently expanded to cover 3000 years' worth of fighting and self-defence. The exhibits are as varied as they are fascinating: films, live-action demonstrations and hands-on technology can awaken interests you never thought you had, from jousting to Indian elephant armour.
One of Britain's most impressive victorian buildings, built in 1863, is now in use as a shopping center. The shops inside offer mostly alternative/surfer clothing and accessories, but most of them are quite expensive.
Leeds Kirkgate market is Europe's largest indoor market (with over 400 stallsbancarelle inside and a further 200 outside) and offers everything from jewellery and fine food to more or less useless items from far eastern production. The market halls are not only of interest for shopping but also for Victorian architecture. The old market hall was built in Victorian style and is nice to see from outside as well as inside. The "good" shops are situated in the old hall from the 19th century while you can sometimes find some bargain itemsarticoli d´occasione in the 1981 hall and the outdoor market.
Eight arcades were built in Leeds up to 1900 and four survive intact. Thornton's Arcade was the first to be built, in 1877-8. The elaborate main front faces Briggate. With a clock made by Potts and Sons of Leeds. Its bell is struck byé colpita da a group of cast-ironghisa figures by J.W.Appleyard. Parallel to Thornton's Arcade is the Queen's Arcade of 1889, restored in 1991-2, has modern shop fronts. The Grand Arcade in Vicar Lane, (1897) is in an ornate Renaissance style with plenty of balusters
The town hall was built in 1858 and was inaugurated by Queen Victoria herself. Today, it is used for concerts and other events, but this Victorian beauty hasn't lost a bit of its flair. The tower and the four-tonne bellcampana da quattro tonnellate were added several years later, as was the massive organ that's estimated at 1.25m pounds. In 1978, the facilitystruttura was renovated.
The former harbour area is near to the central station. Today, many buildings on both sides of the river Aire were refurbishedrinnovati and some new ones were constructed. It is a stylish living area as well as a new business centre, just a few minutes from the heart of the city.
The oldest church in Leeds' city centre and a good example for the transition from gothic to renaissance style. It was built between 1632 and 1634. The stained glass is from the 19th century.
Leeds' most impressive medieval structure is the ruined but still beautiful Kirkstall Abbey, founded in 1152 by Cistercian monks from Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire. It is set in a public park on the north bank of the River Aire. It was disestablished during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under the auspices of Henry VIII. After a £5.5 million renovation program there is a new visitor centre with interactive exhibits which illustrates the history of the abbey and the lives of the monks. Across the road from Kirkstall Abbey, the Abbey House Museum, once the Great Gate House to the Abbey, contains meticulously reconstructed shops and houses recalling Victorian Leeds.
Some text taken by Lonely Planet. For more information visit the Lonely Planet site.
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