The highlights of my brief visit to Birmingham, during my recent travel to the UK, was visiting the Birmingham museum and art gallery and the Frankfurt Christmas market.
Victoria Square was the venue of both highlights. The public square had been originally called Council House Square, when the Council House had been built in 1870, but was renamed Victoria Square in 1901.
The 19th century Town Hall also overlooks the square and has been hosting music events since it was built. It had also hosted political meetings till the Council House had been built.
Walking past the Town Hall, I entered the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery where a friendly staff handed me a map of the layout of the museum. I decided to focus on the history of Birmingham exhibition on the top floor of the museum. The interactive museum gave an insight into how the area evolved over time and especially how the region became a prosperous commercial center, once Peter de Birmingham purchased a market charter in 1166.
I liked how the exhibition presented information in a humorous manner. For example, there was a section titled “the Stranger’s Guide to Birmingham 1700 – 1830” which presented information and artefacts from that period in the form of a guide to a visiting traveler with suggestions of places to stay, sights to see etc. I particularly liked the footage of actors dressed in period costume and acting out different roles of people who would have lived in or visited Birmingham.
The Bullring redevelopment section had an old painting of the Bullring area, with England’s first statue of Admiral Lord Nelson and the church of St. Martin in the Bullring.
It was lovely to see the originals later. The statue of Nelson in the centre of the bullring had been unveiled in 1809.
The church of St Martin in the Bull Ring has been long at the site but the current church building was built in 1873.
Upeksha of Diary of a Tourist had recommended the Frankfurt Christmas market, when she learnt that I would be visiting Birmingham in early December. Since I was staying in the neighbourhood of the Christmas market during my visit, I did try out some of the different stalls, especially the crepes and pretzel stalls for several of my meals.
I enjoyed my brief stay in Birmingham, particularly the food at the Christmas market and learning about the history of Birmingham exhibition at the museum. I would have liked to have also gone on a boat trip along the Birmingham canals but could not fit it on this visit.
Have you visited or would you like to visit the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham or the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery?