Norwich, the capital of the part of Britain known as East Anglia, has been in existence for more than two thousand years. It began as a small village beside the River Wensum. At the time of the Norman invasion in 1066 it had grown to become one of the largest towns in England.
With two cathedrals and a mosque (清真寺), Norwich has long been a popular centre for various religions. The first cathedral was built in 1095 and has recently celebrated its 900th anniversary, while Norwich itself had a year of celebration in 1994 to mark the 800th anniversary of the city receiving a Royal Charter. This allowed it to be called a city and to govern itself independently.
Today, in comparison with places like London or Manchester, Norwich is quite small, with a population of around 150,000, but in the 16th century Norwich was the second largest city of England. It continued to grow for the next 300 years and got richer and richer, becoming famous for having as many churches as there are weeks in the year and as many pubs as there are days in the year.
Nowadays, there are far fewer churches and pubs, but in 1964 the University of East Anglia was built in Norwich. With its fast-growing student population and its success as a modern commercial centre (Norwich is the biggest centre for insurance services outside London), the city now has a wide choice of entertainment: theatres, cinemas, nightclubs, busy cafes, excellent restaurants, and a number of arts and leisure centres. There is also a football team, whose colours are green and yellow. The team is known as "The Canaries (金丝雀)", though nobody can be sure why.