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Oxford is one of England’s most beautiful cities with soaring spires, studious scholars and spectacular sights.
Locals gather in Oxford's historic pubs, such as the King's Arms, Eagle and Child, and the Turf Tavern, to discuss philosophy, science and sports. You can hear priceless classical music or view theatrical productions at Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford Playhouse and Holywell Music Room.
Oxford has no shortage of remarkable culture. One of its most astonishing cultural offerings is its great density of chapels and churches. For art history buffs, the city of Oxford's groundbreaking architecture permits endless study and contemplation — this is no more true than in its wonderful collection of breathtaking cathedrals.
Any tourism itinerary of Oxford should include a visit to at least a few of these beautiful buildings, so here are four of Oxford's greatest churches:
St. Michael at the North Gate
Cornmarket Street is an energetic and charming pedestrian-only street in the heart of Oxford and is the location of St. Michael at the North Gate. It is the official church of the city of Oxford, and its crowning trait is its Saxon bell tower, which was originally part of the city's defensive wall at its north gate entrance. This tower is the oldest surviving building in all of Oxford, having been erected around 1050. Atop the tower you will see a panoramic view that reaches to the hills beyond the city.
The Magdalen Chapel
Magdalen’s chapel is a gorgeous location for contemplation and architectural appreciation. The Anglican services at Magdalen are inspired by the Oxford Movement (or Catholic Revival) of the 19th century. The Magdalen College Choir performs frequently throughout each term. This acclaimed singing group was awarded a Grammy Award in 2005 for one of their recordings.
University Church of St. Mary the Virgin
St. Mary's Church provides open access to the public. The church is steeped in a fascinating and rich history. Make sure you visit the tower. There is a fee, but well worth it. You will feast your eyes on amazing views of the city in every direction. This is one of the greatest views of Oxford available. It is conveniently located on High Street and has an elegant garden to peruse after enjoying the church. There is also a cafe with a nice view of the Radcliffe Camera.
Christ Church Cathedral
Although Christ Church charges admission, its cathedral is a must-see. Christ Church is one of the largest and most prestigious colleges of the University of Oxford. Arguably the greatest cathedral in the city, Christ Church Cathedral ranks as high in importance theologically as the college does academically.