The town developed around coal deposits which were discovered in the 14th century, and became a thriving port during the Victorian period.
St. Mary`s Church dates back to the 12th century, but was largely rebuilt in 1855.
The MetroCentre, built on reclaimed industrial land, is Europe`s largest indoor shopping centre.
Gateshead International Stadium is one of the country`s major venues for athletics.
The Angel of the North, designed by Antony Gormley, is one of the country`s most iconic landmarks. It was completed in 1998.
One of the shopping centres features in scenes from the film "Get Carter", starring Michael Caine.
Among those born in Gateshead are Steve Cram, athlete; and Paul Gascoigne, England footballer.
Daniel Defoe wrote "Robinson Crusoe" at Gateshead.