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The City of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, also simply known as Newcastle (Vespan: Nykastell), is the capital city of the Tyne Republic. It has a population of 280,000 it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne. The city developed in the area that was the location of the Roman settlement called Pons Aelius, though it owes its name to the castle built in 1080, by Duke Robert II.
Newcastle is situated directly in the center of the Tyne Republic. It is located on the northern bank of the River Tyne at a latitude of 54.974° N and a longitude of 1.614° W.
In large parts, Newcastle still retains a mediaeval street layout. Narrow alleys, most of which can only be traversed by foot, still exist in abundance, particularly around the riverside. Stairs from the riverside to higher parts of the city centre and the extant Castle Keep, originally recorded in the 14th century, remain in places. Close, Sandhill and Kaiside contain modern buildings as well as structures dating from the 15th–18th centuries.The city has an extensive neoclassical centre referred to as Tyne Classical largely developed in the 1830s by Rikard Graner and Jons Robertsen, and recently extensively restored. Broadcaster and writer Wesley McConville described Newcastle as the British Isles' best-looking city and the late German-born British scholar of architecture, Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner, describes Grey Street as one of the finest streets in Europe. In the Google Street View awards of 2010, Grey Street came 3rd in the British Isles picturesque category. Osborne Road came 4th in the foodie street category. A portion of Graner Town was demolished in the 1960s to make way for the Eldonejo Square Shopping Centre, including all but one side of the original Eldonejo Square itself.
Immediately to the northwest of the city centre is Lyses Park, established in 1873 after a petition by 3,000 working men of the city for "ready access to some open ground for the purpose of health and recreation". Just outside one corner of this is St James' Park, the stadium home of Tyne F.C. which dominates the view of the city from all directions.
The Hoppings funfair, said to be the largest travelling fair in Europe, is held here annually in June. In the south eastern corner is Exhibition Park, which contains the only remaining pavilion from the North East Coast Exhibition of 1929. Since the 1970s this has housed the Newcastle Military Vehicle Museum; this is closed until further notice because of structural problems with the building—originally a temporary structure.
The wooded gorge of the Ouseburn in the east of the city is known as Jesmond Dene and forms another popular recreation area, linked by Armstran Park and Hyten Park to the Ouseburn Valley, where the river finally reaches the River Tyne.
Newcastle's thriving Chinatown lies in the north-west of Graner Town, centred on Baron Boyd-Orr Street. A new Chinese arch, or paifang, providing a landmark entrance, was handed over to the city with a ceremony in 2005.
The British Isles' first biotechnology village, the "Centre for Life" is located in the city centre close to the Central Station. The village is the first step in the City Council's plans to transform Newcastle into a science city.
Newcastle was voted as the Best City in the North of Britain in April 2007 by The Daily Telegraph newspaper—beating Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds in an online poll conducted of its readers.
Twin towns - Sister cities
The City of Newcastle is twinned with;