Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury (must see)
It was originally founded in 597 and has been expanded and rebuilt many times in its history.
In its earliest days, the church was part of a Benedictine monastic community and was the seat of the archbishop. The first bishop was Augustine of Canterbury, a missionary sent in 596 by Pope Gregory I. He also founded Saint Augustine's Abbey, though it was not called that then, located outside the city walls.
The building as it is now was more or less laid out by Archbishop Lanfranc and dedicated in 1077 after the Norman Conquest. It was built from stone from France and designed to be like the Abbey of Saint-Étienne in Caen.
A pivotal moment in the Cathedral's history was the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket. Becket was murdered in the northwest transept in 1170 by knights of King Henry II. The events transformed the Cathedral into a place of pilgrimage. Such pilgrims were depicted in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
Today the Archbishop of Canterbury serves as the global leader for the Anglican Communion and leader of the Church of England.
Why You Should Visit
The Cathedral is a World Heritage Site and one of the most stunning examples of Gothic architecture in England.
Plan to dedicate at least three hours to tour the Cathedral. GPSmyCity offers a self-guided tour to help you explore the Cathedral and its grounds.
Be sure to look up! Some of the most impressive examples of architecture lie in the fan vaulting, ornate carvings, and beautiful stained glassworks.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Canterbury. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Canterbury Cathedral on Map
Sight Location: Canterbury, England (See walking tours in Canterbury)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:
Walking Tours in Canterbury, England
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Saint Augustine arrived in Canterbury in 597 to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. The... view more
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles