Bristol 20th Century - Present

In the Bristol Blitz of World War II, the city centre suffered severe damage from Luftwaffe bombing. The original central shopping area, near the bridge and castle, was largely destroyed, and is now a public park containing two bombed out churches and the castle remains. A third bombed church nearby, St Nicholas, has been restored and converted a museum.

The rebuilding of Bristol city centre was characterised by large, cheap 1960s tower blocks, brutalist architecture and expansion of roads. Since the 1980s, redevelopment has included the closure of some main roads, the restoration of the Georgian period Queen Square and Portland Square, the regeneration of the Broadmead shopping area and the demolition of one of the city centre's tallest post-war blocks. The redevelopment of shopping centres and office buildings continues apace.

The continued removal of the docks to Avonmouth Docks and Royal Portbury Dock during the 20th century has allowed redevelopment of the old central dock area (the "Floating Harbour") in recent decades. The Floating Harbour is now the focus of many leisure, residential and retail developments around Bristol city centre, and in 1996 was the venue for the first International Festival of the Sea.

Also in the 20th century, Bristol's manufacturing activities expanded to include aircraft production, producing many famous aircraft such as WWI and WWII fighters and one of the original two Concorde prototypes. The city also gave its name to the Bristol make of buses, manufactured in the city from 1908 to 1983.