Manchester is a large city with the population close to half a million people. Greater Manchester (the area around the city) totals over 2 million people. Located in the south-central part of North West England (see the map below), it is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south and the Pennines to the north and east. Manchester is most of the time thought of as the first industrialized city in the world. The first railway station was built in Manchester, and it is here that the scientists developed the first programmable computer.
Manchester was first established as a Roman fort in AD 79 under the name "Mamicium." Today the city attracts tourists from all over the world and it has become the second most visited metropolis in England outside of London. Manchester is the home of two Premier League football teams, Manchester City and Manchester United. Architecturally, Manchester displays a wide variety of styles, ranging from the Victorian to modern. Manchester town hall (see the illustration) is a perfect example of a Gothic-style edifice which is considered one of the best Victorian era buildings in England. Apart from such magnificent buildings, Manchester has six Local Nature Reserves and spectacular Piccadilly Gardens. Manchester can boast of its thriving culture and entertainment, as well as education. One of the most prestigious schools in this city is the University of Manchester which is the largest full-time non-collegiate University in the UK.