Liverpool is located on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary, and historically lay within the ancient hundred of West Derby in the south west of the county of Lancashire.[ It became a borough in 1207 and a city in 1880. In 1889, it became a county borough independent of Lancashire. 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. In the 19th century, it was a major port of departure for Irish and English emigrants to the United States. Liverpool was home to both the Cunard and White Star Line, and was the port of registry of the ocean liner RMS Titanic, the RMS Lusitania, Queen Mary and Olympic.
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. The city's namesake club 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.
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, officially known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, is the seat of the Archbishop of Liverpool and the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool in Liverpool, England.  The Grade II* Metropolitan Cathedral is one of Liverpool's many listed buildings. To distinguish it from the Anglican Liverpool Cathedral, locals call it the "Catholic Cathedral." Nicknames for the building include "Paddy's Wigwam", "The Pope's Launching Pad"[ and "The Mersey Funnel".