Bristol - Bristol-Oporto Association Website

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Question: Have you noticed the blue plaque at 38 Stoke Hill, Stoke Bishop commemorating the 19th century Portuguese writer Eça de Quieroz who lived there for 9 years while Consul in Bristol?

Eça de Queiroz 1845-1900 was one of Europe’s most talented social novelists.  Literary history brackets him with Charles Dickens and other great names of the period. A Portuguese Consul, he managed to combine his duties as a civil servant with both fiction writing and journalism.
It was chiefly during his time in Bristol that he wrote his blockbuster novel ‘Os Maias’, a fictional saga of a family over 70 years reflecting a critical version of 19thC Portugal.  His ‘Cartas de Inglaterra’ (Letters from England) is of special interest to British readers.  Some make comment on British domestic matters while others address Imperial and other involvements in distant parts of the world. He was intensely critical of Victorian Britain and its social establishment, but for all this he did state that the English probably ‘think’ more than do other nations.  He certainly loved our countryside and landscapes and spoke enthusiastically of the hinterland of the Severn Estuary.    

On Thursday the 21st July 2016 the  Lord Mayor of Bristol unveiled a cabinet in the Central Library to  commemorate the twinnings that Bristol has with cities across the  world. The cabinet is set to remain in the library next to the Twin  Cities Reference Section and will be changed every three months.  It contains objects that were gifted by our twinned towns to represent  the culture of their city, such as a sculpture from Hannover. Many  people who have played key roles within these partnerships were present,  and it was great to hear from them about how these links between cities  have benefited Bristol.

Photos courtesy Emily Brown

Bristol Mayor responds to EU Referendum result

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees has responded to the result of the EU Referendum. He said:
"I  am proud Bristol voted to remain. It says a lot about where we are as a  city and our culture. It showed confidence in the strength of our  society and our economy, the foundations of our position as global  city. The challenge presented by Leave will not stop us from pursing our  aspirations for the city – to be a prosperous, inclusive and  sustainable city in which no-one is left behind.
  "It's important we understand the meaning of the Brexit vote. It was a  call for change. The attractiveness of the Brexit call was a judgment on  how we have done economic development and managed our public services  as a country. Too many people have been left  out of the so-called economic recovery. And they have suffered from a  failure to protect and invest in our public services.
  "We must learn from these lessons as we go forward as we build our  future. The plans we put in place must put tackling inequality, creating  opportunity and decent jobs and protecting and investing in our public  services at the heart of what we do. We need to  ensure we don't only get economic growth, we need the right kind of  economic development. A month ago the people of Bristol gave me this  mandate. And it remains my duty to fulfil it.
  "We are a global city of mixed heritage. We are a welcoming city. And we  are a city of sanctuary. I pledge we will continue to be so.
  "Bristol has always been an outward looking city and we benefit  enormously from our overseas relationships. We must not forget that a  large number of our international links exist because of Bristol’s  diverse communities from Somalia to Poland, with 91 different  languages spoken in our city. As the dust settles over the coming days  and weeks, my focus will be on how we continue to maintain and build  links across Europe and with other countries around the globe.
  "Our reputation as one of Europe’s leading innovative, creative and  sustainable cities makes Bristol a valuable asset for partners around  the world. I will ensure we secure and develop our international  reputation as a city that is open for business and can  attract global investment and opportunities for our citizens and  businesses.
  "We will keep Bristol moving forward together."
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol

Bristol - West Country hub

Bristol has a history every bit as long and illustrious as Porto. It is now a centre for the aerospace industry (Airbus) and home to many IT companies. However, its history is still evident when walking around the city (see slideshow below). There are excellent markets and historic sites. St Mary Redcliffe was described by Elizabeth I (1533-1603) as "The fairest, goodliest, and most famous parish church in England."  It is very much worth a visit.
Unfortunately, much of the old part of Bristol was destroyed during WWII, but there is still much that remains of interest. The Llandoger Trow pub dates from 1664 and Christmas Steps dates from 1669. The old port of Bristol was converted into a cultural space housing restaurants, educational resources (@Bristol) and a centre for cinema, as well as much else. Bristol is also home to Aardman Animations, makers of ‘Wallace and Gromit’.
The construction of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Western Railway (know, when built in 1833, as ‘God’s Wonderful Railway) linked Bristol to London and all towns in between. Brunel also designed the famous suspension bridge over Clifton Gorge, but died before it was finished. His SS Great Britain, the largest ship in the world when launched (1843), is still moored in Bristol and is now a worthy visitor attraction.

A selection of links with information on Bristol follows:

The Guardian has published a set of 10 things to do in Bristol

Another recent article in "The Guardian" newspaper emphasises how much Bristol is progressing in the forefront of technology as a city.

In short, there is much to see and experience in Bristol, not the least of which is the Bristol accent/dialect. See the You Tube clip here.

For further information, see the Wikipedia page at

For tourism, please see

For a fascinating history of Bristol in interactive maps,
please visit:

A wonderful site, full of information on Old Bristol, may be found here.

Bristol recently celebrated the 150th Anniversary of the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge. A link to the BBC website story is here.

More information and a selection of pictures and a video are at the Bristol Post website here.

Bristol's hi-tech initiatives have featured in the presitigious magazine/website "Wired". See the article here.

Bristol is now the European Green Capital. See links here and here and here.

A large part of Bristol and the nearby city of Bath was destroyed during the Second World War 'blitz'. An interesting clip (59min) released by the British Film Institute of the devasation caused may be seen here.

A charity initiative starring Aardman Animation's "Shaun the Sheep" is currently very popular in Bristol. See details here.

That venerable journal, "The New York Times" recently published a travel article on Bristol. Read here.

YouTube is a veritable compendium of video clips and slide shows on all subjects from fluffy kittens through wild conspiracy theories and even cooking recipes with instructions. Of interest to us is this selection of photos from old Bristol.

These sites open in new windows.

Now see the slideshow of Bristol photos (autoplay):

The safest cities in the UK? Try Bristol. Out of 18 cities in the UK, Bristol was number 2. Why would you not want to visit?

During WWII, Bristol suffered as badly with some 15,000 bombs dropped on the city in one night. There were six major air raids in total, with 85,000 buldings destroyed and 1,299 people killed. The link will take you to a fascinating story of what happened to all the rubble that resulted.
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