I visited this WHS in June 2016. Unfortunately, what was once an important maritime mercantile city has ‘developed’ into a consumeristic hub and concrete jungle with never-ending shopping malls, restaurants, diners, pubs all lined up next to each other and all displaying gigantic advertisements everywhere. I failed to see any link or interesting contrast between the old buildings and the new ones. Cranes, dust and pollution reign supreme. The few futuristic buildings which might appeal to some, in my opinion ruin (and are going to ruin further) the view from Albert Dock to Pier Head. The Echo Arena and several possibly interesting museums could have been built elsewhere. Albert Dock is just an empty shell now housing countless diners and junk stores selling the same souvenirs. Apart from a few information boards, there is nothing to explain why this WHS deserves its inscription (perhaps they did this on purpose just in case it gets delisted any time soon!) and the staff at the tourist information offices are more geared towards directing tourists to several free entrance museums and above all to ‘important’ places for fans of The Beatles. No wonder several photography tours are organised only at night with as little light as possible, at least most of the concrete buildings ‘disappear’ and there are limited possibilities to help one go back in time and truly understand Liverpool’s past importance and how unfortunately it is relatively easy to mess up or even lose a world heritage site! Usually I’m really the type of person to always look for the silver lining even in those WHS which are from being top WHS. Maybe that’s why I was too upset with Liverpool as I tried in vain to look for that silver lining in the 6 locations of this WHS but failed miserably. Apart from the inscribed area, I’d recommend visiting the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Luckily, last year’s inscription of the Speicherstadt, Hamburg, covered what in my opinion has been ruined in Liverpool. After my disappointing visit, I promised myself that I would visit Dresden in the near future as most probably it’s much more deserving (even with the new bridge!).
World heritage site