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Southampton is a major city and port on the south coast of Hampshire with around 220,000 inhabitants, situated between Portsmouth and Bournemouth, near the Isle of Wight.

The port is traditionally the economic and cultural centre of the city. In fact Southampton was the starting port of the Titanic in her fateful voyage of 1912. Nowadays, Southampton is the most important European starting point for cruises, with more than 200 cruise ships per year. The city is also home to the Cunard Line ships, now owned by Carnival Corporation, including the second largest passenger liner of the world, the Queen Mary II.

Since the 1970s the flow of goods moved through the port has steadily increased retaining Southampton's status as one of the most important ports in the UK. The new container terminal is the secondary largest in England after Felixstowe.

Southampton is also strategically important for the Oil industry. Oil giants BP and Esso have two oil refineries in the sea. The BP refinery in Fawley is the largest of Great Britain.

Like many other English cities, Southampton was seriously damaged during the Second World War: the major part of the city was destroyed by the German bombardments of Luftwaffe. But luckily the medieval wall enclosing the city and its famous Bargate entrance in the north of the old city were saved. Bargate is now often used as symbol of Southampton.

Read more about Southampton in the About Southampton section.