From the World Heritage inscription:
The city and port of Liverpool are exceptional testimony to the development of maritime mercantile culture in the 18th and 19th centuries, and played an important role in the growth of the British Empire. Liverpool is an outstanding example of a world mercantile port city, which represents the early development of global trading and cultural connections throughout the British Empire. The city was also a major centre generating innovative technologies and methods in dock construction and port management in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Six areas in the historic centre and docklands of Liverpool bear witness to the development of one of the world’s major trading centres in the 18th and 19th centuries, based on its harbour. The first ocean steamship left from Liverpool in 1840; from that date onwards the town became a fundamental link connecting Europe to America. It also became the major port for the mass movement of people: it was a centre for the slave trade until its abolition in 1807, and for emigration from northern Europe to America. Thousands of people from all over Europe gathered here to migrate to the New World.
The first thing most people think of when they hear Liverpool is the Beatles and maybe the Liverpool Football Club. The city however, has a richer history beyond rock and roll and soccer. The city was the port for the importation of cotton from the Americas.
The waterfront area harkens back to its Victorian, mercantile origins when it was one of the most important economic centers in Britain.
View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.