Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford (must see)

Christ Church Cathedral holds the rather unique position of being both a college chapel and the cathedral of the Diocese of Oxford. Until the 20th century it was also the smallest cathedral in the United Kingdom.

Its history dates back to before the Norman Conquest when a shrine was built here in memory of St Frideswide, a much-persecuted 7th century priestess who seems to have spent most of her life guarding her chastity from the amorous attentions of King Algar, one of the kings of the Seven Kingdoms of Saxony.

By 1122 the cathedral was part of the St Frideswide Priory, but in 1520 the buildings and lands were confiscated by Cardinal Wolsey who wanted them to build Cardinal College. Five of the bays in the western part of the nave were demolished to build what is now Tom Quad, before Wolsey in his turn was ousted by King Henry VIII who had Christ Church College built on the foundations.

The rest of the cathedral was built in the Perpendicular, or English Gothic, style, with the five bays of the eastern part of the nave, the choir and the tower keeping the original Norman architecture.

The wonderful rose window is in the Botanical style of ten petals around the central glass. Other windows of note are the Becket Window dating back to 1320, which survived the Reformation and the Jonah Window, depicting the City of Nineveh, created in 1632.

The shrine of St Frideswide has been restored and it stands before a beautiful stained glass window with 16 panels that tell the story of her life. If you look closely at the 16th panel, you will see a water-closet, which certainly didn’t exist in the 8th century and is a give-away to the window’s Victorian creation.

The Cathedral Shop, where you can buy souvenirs, books and CD’s among other gift items, is housed in the 12th century Chapter House. While browsing the shelves, take a look at the vaulted ceiling, where you will see 13th century medallions depicting the Saints.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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Christ Church Cathedral on Map

Sight Name: Christ Church Cathedral
Sight Location: Oxford, England
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) containing this sight: City Orientation Walk   Religious Buildings in Oxford  

Walking Tours in Oxford, England

Create Your Own Walk in Oxford

Create Your Own Walk in Oxford

Creating your own self-guided walk in Oxford is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Oxford has played an important role in the history and development of Great Britain. Its architecture and cultural spots, that attract many tourists, belong to every major period in English history. This tour will guide you through Oxford's most interesting and beautiful attractions.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 km
Religious Buildings in Oxford

Religious Buildings in Oxford

Oxford is home to a great range of sites related to the history of English Christianity. Many churches, college chapels and prayer houses with tremendous architecture can be seen here. Take this self-guided tour to discover the most important religious building in Oxford.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Landmarks of Oxford

Landmarks of Oxford

Oxford is a very beautiful city, with a rich culture and history. It offers a lot of splendid landmarks and monuments, many of them dating back hundreds of years and illustrating the historic heritage of the city. This walking tour will guide you through the most attractive landmarks of Oxford.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 km
Museums and Galleries in Oxford

Museums and Galleries in Oxford

Oxford is a beautiful British city famous throughout the world for its University and historic places. The city offers a lot of activities and attractions. For example, Oxford is famous for its museums and galleries that are known for their unique collections and that host regular art exhibitions.
Take this tour to discover the history and culture of the city.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Oxford University Walking Tour

Oxford University Walking Tour

The University of Oxford is the oldest institution of its kind and one of the best in England. It represents a "federation", consisting of 38 self-governing Colleges and 6 Permanent Private Halls. Take this tour to find out the most beautiful and worth-seeing colleges in Oxford.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km
Oxford Center Nightlife Tour

Oxford Center Nightlife Tour

Whatever you want, a warm conversation with your friends or a lively night on the dance floor, traditional dishes or some exotic ones, a stylish and fashionable restaurant or a simple, modern venue, Oxford offers you a range of bars, pubs and clubs, aimed to satisfy your preferences and wishes. Check out the most popular spots in Central Oxford on this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 km