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Bristol Architecture

Bristol has 51 Grade I listed buildings, 500 Grade II* and over 3,800 Grade II buildings, in a wide variety of architectural styles, ranging from the medieval to the 21st century.

In the mid-19th century, Bristol Byzantine, an architectural style unique to the city, was developed, of which several examples have survived. Buildings from most of the architectural periods of the United Kingdom can be seen throughout the city. Surviving elements of the fortified city and castle date back to the medieval era, also some churches dating from the 12th century onwards.

Outside the historical city centre there are several large Tudor mansions built for wealthy merchants. Almshouses and public houses of the same period still exist, intermingled with modern development. Several Georgian-era squares were laid out for the enjoyment of the middle class as prosperity increased in the 18th century.

During World War II, the city centre suffered from extensive bombing during the Bristol Blitz. The central shopping area around Wine Street and Castle Street was particularly badly hit, and architectural treasures such as the Dutch House and St Peter's Hospital were lost. Nonetheless in 1961 Betjeman still considered Bristol to be 'the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England'.

The redevelopment of shopping centres, office buildings, and the harbourside continues apace.
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