Portsmouth was once a significant naval port in the county of Hampshire and is home to the world's oldest dry dock. Even though the naval port is in decline the dry dock and dockyard are still major features of this bustling city. The city was originally founded around 1180 and has many sites for visitors to enjoy.
Thanks to its rich naval history many of the major tourist attractions in Portsmouth are related to the navy in some form or fashion. One of the most popular attractions is the remains of the HMS Victory. Launched in 1765 this was the flag ship for King Henry VIII. Today it is the oldest naval ship still in commission; its commission now, however, is a museum. Visitors can tour the ship and get a feel for what life was like on the HMS Victory. They can view artifacts that made this ship what it was.
Also located at the Portsmouth naval port is the HMS Warrior. This ship is the first iron-hulled, armor-plated warship built for the Royal Navy. Visitors can tour this ship as well to get an idea of what it was like when the Warrior was commissioned in 1861. The Warrior started what was to be a short but intense competition between armor and guns, becoming obsolete by May of 1883. She has been persevered for all to see though.
Ships aren't the only thing for people to view while in Portsmouth. There are view cities in the United Kingdom that get to boast two cathedrals and Portsmouth is one of them. The Anglican Cathedral of St. Thomas of Canterbury was built in the late 1100's. Surviving a raid in 1337 but then suffered the loss of its Bishop in 1449 when Bishop of Chichester was murdered. The church was then closed for a time until 1591 when Elizabeth I worshipped here. The Church then closed again in 1902 and 1904, only for restoration to be carried out and was in service until the 1980s at which point the building became unstable. The new church built in 1991, is much smaller but is still a site to see.
The other cathedral is the Roman Catholic Cathedral Church of St John the Evangelist. This beautiful church was opened in 1892 and has been opened ever since. Its grand architecture is a beautiful site to behold.
From the ancient to the new, Portsmouth is home to the Spinnaker Tower. This tower is the centerpiece of the Portsmouth Harbor and was originally to be called the Millennium Tower. This unique tower was designed to reflect Portsmouth's naval heritage and is in the shape of sail.
Portsmouth's rich naval heritage has many aspects for visitors to enjoy.
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