I have to be honest, I didn’t know a whole lot about Oxford before visiting the city. University of Oxford kind of overshadows every single thing in the city with its importance. But apart from the university, the city is beautiful, ancient but also very young and vibrant. The city of academia, holds one of the most beautiful and historically significant churches in the UK. This magnificent building is not only a church but also a college, which gives it a very special status.
Originally built in 1525, the monument took its current form in 1546 by Henry VIII as part of his re-organization efforts of the Church of England. At the cathedral, I was given a guided tour by one of the volunteers at the church and had the chance to learn about its great history, architectural style and the beautiful stained glass panels. The cathedral architecturally blends Romanesque and Gothic styles very well. The rounded arches of the Romanesque style and the pointy spires of the Gothic flow so naturally in this structure. Among the burials, philosophers John Locke and George Berkeley are quite attention grabbing.
After examining the interior of this cathedral, I had a little tour of the dining hall of the college. This dining hall is quintessentially British and it was the influence to Harry Potter books and the interior was actually used in the first movie. Rows of children giving poses for photos kind of causes a bit of traffic jam in this part, but it’s still very enjoyable. On the walls are pictures of great British people who were once part of this college and dined here.
One thing that I was really surprised about this place was their inclusion of written guides of almost 30 languages (including Turkish). I guess we have to thank the Oxford University students for their efforts in the translation process.
Admission is £8 for adults and £6.50 for students.