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Oxford Sights and Landmarks Guide, United Kingdom

When you are visiting Oxford you are really visiting the history of England’s academic life. Every building, church, tower or park has some remote connection with one of the colleges in Oxford. Therefore, Oxford Sights is more than a description of what to do and see in this town; it is also a depiction of university life itself.

Oxford, Sights – Museums

As you can easily imagine, Oxford hosts a lot of museums, but the most important must be The Ashmolean Museum, which is the first public museum in the world. It was opened as a proper museum in 1845, having at its basis a collection of objects of art which was part of the Bodleian Library. In 1908, it merged with the University Art Collection, preserving this structure to present day. In order to keep up with modern times, the museum suffered a great makeover in 2009 with the construction of a new building. From the original museum only the Cockerell Building war preserved.

Another museum worth visiting is The Museum of Oxford which is very interesting because it presents the history of Oxford’s inhabitants. You should know that Oxford was the capital of England during the English Civil War, the Court and Parliament being moved here. This period is very well represented in the museum so you will feel better connected with the spirit of the locals.

Oxford, Sights – Churches and Towers

An Oxford tour should include a visit of the Carfax Tower, which stands in the centre of the town. The tower was once part of St. Martin’s Church (the former City church of Oxford) but, in the 19th century, in order to broaden the street, the church was demolished and only the tower preserved. You can climb to the top of it (23 m) and enjoy a beautiful view of Oxford’s centre since the tower is the tallest construction in the area. It is actually forbidden by law to erect a higher building in the area. The present City Church of Oxford, St. Michael at the North Gate, gives one the possibility of visiting one of the oldest buildings in Oxford, namely The Saxon Tower. The tower possesses some valuable historical objects that belonged to people such as John Wesley or William Morris. Furthermore, inside the tower, you can also see the room where the Oxford martyrs were imprisoned before being executed. The experience is somehow similar to the one you get while walking through the basement of the Doge’s Palace in Venice. To be more precise, a hair-raising experience!

Of course, Oxford is only the tip of the iceberg and you trip to England should not resume to it. London is quite close to Oxford and it blends the same ingredients of culture and history and even more. Browse London Travel Guide for more information. If you are still interested in the academic field, then Cambridge Travel Guide is the right reading material for you.


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