Southampton is one of the largest cities on the south coast of England. It is located about 110 km South West of London, in the Hampshire county (whose original name was Southamptonshire) and it has about 230,000 inhabitants. It is located at the North end of Southampton Water at the mouth of the rivers Test and Itchen. Its harbour is famous for being the starting point of the Titanic on its tragic maiden voyage. Most of the old town was destroyed by German bombing during II World War, which arguably is a fairly new, with lots of shopping malls, restaurants and universities. However, there are still some remnants of the wall that surrounded the city, or the majestic Georgian houses, owned by the Tudor family.
The city is twinned with the town of Caudete, belonging to the province of Albacete (Spain).
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
About the history of the city, it is said to Southampton was the chosen place by the Viking King Canute “the Great” to defeat his enemy, the Anglo-Saxon King Ethelred II, nicknamed “Undecided”. Around 1066 and with the conquest of the Normans, the city became the main port between the capital of England, Winchester, and Normandy. Thanks to the trade of wool with Flanders and Italy, the port gained even more fans and had to build the Wool House, a large house near the port that served as a warehouse and it has been re-used as a maritime museum, museum city (place to exhibit works by local artists) and in 2015 became the Dancing Man Brewery pub.
A curious detail is that Southampton had much to do in creating the Principality of Monaco. The wall of the city was built in 1338, after the French, led by Grimaldi, stormed the city and razed everything. Grimaldi used this booty to found the principality of Monaco, and Southampton was ruined, without funds enough to build an entire wall, so they reused the walls of commercial premises around as part of this defensive structure
One of the streets displays proudly a plaque that housed the residence of the writer Jane Austen between 1807 and 1809. Also, the Dolphin Hotel in High Street offers themed suites inspired writer since she went to dances there or celebrated his 18th birthday. The Red Lion, in the same street, witnessed in 1415 of the “Conspiracy of Southampton” shortly before King Henry V left for the battle of Agincourt.
Its Port -currently starting point of luxury cruise– has been the scene of several important episodes in history. In 1623, the Pilgrim Fathers departed to America on the Mayflower and this marked a milestone in the history of many immigrants who chose this city as a starting point to begin a new life in America, Africa or Australia.
But if something has really become famous this Port, it has been the most famous maritime tragedy of history, the sinking of the unsinkable Titanic in 1912, whose surroundings have been immortalized in countless documentaries and films. There are several memorials scattered throughout the city (memorial tombs in the Old Cemetery as 549 of the victims belonged to that city; insignias to the last living in the park Maritime Museum survivor, the South Western House building was the hotel where travelers before leaving …) stayed. Currently it is the most important port freight Coast Channel, and maintains its port activity within the city.
The city also reminds those who died in the First and Second World War with various memorials each year are filled with flowers and flags. World War II brought serious consequences for the city, which was heavily bombed in 1940. Only a few Georgian buildings survived, as the church of Saint Michael’s (the oldest building in town, dating from 1070), which it was not bombed because its needle guided allowed German pilots.
Although many people unknown the fact a refuge for children of the Spanish Civil War who had survived the attack on Guernica. In 1937, the steamship left from Havana Port in Santurce with 4,000 Basque children refugees from the Spanish Civil War. The ship had left two days earlier, besieged by the troops of General Francisco Franco, who rebelled against the government of the Republic. In April the 26th of 1937, when the city of Guernica was flattened by the bombing of the Condor Legion (sent by Hitler), the British government decided to launch this proposal to accommodate orphaned children in the city. In 2002 the association “Basque Children of 37” was founded with the intention of recovering the historical memory and that such an important passage not forget.
Getting around Southampton is very simple and you have many options. Here we show which:
STREET MAP OLD TOWN GUIDED TOUR
CYCLE LANE CYCLE ROUTES
There are several companies operating buses and coaches in the city, here we leave a map and all the information:BUS MAP BLUESTAR FIRST BUS UNILINK XELABUS CITYLINKCOACHES NATIONAL EXPRESS MEGABUS
CAR PARK ROADS
HYTHE FERRY RED FUNNEL FERRY
CRUISE PORT MAP