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The popularity of The Beatles and other groups from the Merseybeat era contributes to Liverpool's status as a tourist destination.
Liverpool is also the home of two Premier League football clubs, Liverpool and Everton, matches between the two being known as the Merseyside derby.
Its growth as a major port was paralleled by the expansion of the city throughout the Industrial Revolution.
Along with handling general cargo, freight, raw materials such as coal and cotton, the city merchants were involved in the Atlantic slave trade.
Natives and residents of the city of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians, and colloquially as "Scousers", a reference to "scouse", a form of stew.
The word "Scouse" has also become synonymous with the Liverpool accent and dialect.
Numerous colonial soldiers and sailors from Africa and India, who had served with the UK, settled in Liverpool and other port cities.
Great Britain was a major market for cotton imported from the Deep South of the United States, which fed the textile industry in the country.
Substantial profits from the slave trade and tobacco helped the town to prosper and rapidly grow, although several prominent local men, including William Rathbone, William Roscoe and Edward Rushton, were at the forefront of the abolitionist movement.
By the start of the 19th century, a large volume of trade was passing through Liverpool, and the construction of major buildings reflected this wealth.
Liverpool is the sole British club to win five European Cups.
The world-famous Grand National horse race takes place annually at Aintree Racecourse on the outskirts of the city. In 2008 it was nominated as the annual European Capital of Culture together with Stavanger, Norway.
The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district within the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest within the Liverpool City Region.