"The history of York is the history of England" King George VI said and I could not have put it any better myself.
So here is what I am notorious for: the history bit.
York's history before the arrival of the Romans is unknown. Between the years AD 71-73 the 9th Roman legion erected a fort, which they called Eboracum. As it was on the way to Scotland and of strategic importance the town became bigger. In the second century the first civilians came, Emperor Hadrian visited the town twice, Constantine the Great was proclaimed emperor here in 306.
In 410 the last Roman troops had left British soil. Eboracum became Eoforwic. It was the capital of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom Deirta. In 625 Christianity came to York. In 735 it became an Archbishopric. Alcuin, one of the most famous European scholars, was headmaster of the Minster School. By the way one of the pupils of this school was Saint Ludger, the first bishop of Münster. Which shows that the link between York and Münster dates back to early times.
This era came to an end with raids of the Vikings. In 867 they conquered York and settled there. The renamed they town "Jorvik".
200 years later the Normans came, destroyed Jorvik and rebuilt York.
In the Middle Ages York was an important harbour and trading centre. It was a prosperous city, the guilds were very powerful. King and parliament often visited the town. The Archbishop came second after the Archbishop of Canterbury. The kings of the house of Plantaganet promoted the city, king Edward III was the first to make one of his younger sons Duke of York. In the War of the Roses York was also involved.
Henry VIII and the dissolution of the monasteries brought big changes to York. In the 17th century York regained national importance when Charles I transferred his court from London to York. In 1644 the town was besieged by Cromwell and the Royals surrendered.
The industrial revolution didn't change anything in York but the railways brought economic growth back. It was between 1830 and 1849 that England experienced the great railway boom, and no city was more closely affected than York, largely due to the work of George Hudson, who became known as "the railway king" and also Lord Mayor in York. Nowadays tourism is a very big factor in the economy of the town.