It’s crazy to say that this is my last blog of my trip. I have had so much fun and learned so much. I spent my last learning day in Oxford. There were so many old medieval-like buildings, and tons of people on bikes and motorcycles. We were led again by Tim, who was our previous tour guide in Stratford! The first place we stopped to glaze at was the Martyrs Memorial. This memorial was built almost 300 years ago after the English Reformation, two men were burned to death nearby here because of their beliefs.
The colleges and universities here are very different compared to the states. The universities in Oxford and London are self governing, and before you can go into University you have to get into college. I was under the impression that Oxford was one university, however Oxford is actually 30 different colleges, I couldn’t believe it! St. Johnson is the richest out of the 30 Oxford colleges. The Balliol college in Oxford is high powered and one of the oldest universities. It has a gothic look that was created in the 1900s to resemble a medieval look. Next was the Bodleian Library, it is one of the greatest libraries in the world however it is not a lending library. It is a university library and you have to swear an oath when you borrow a book while you’re there. We visited the Radcliffe Camera that was designed by James Gips. Originally, the library held scientific and general books but over time it was moved to other Oxford Universities. Today, it is used as the main reading home of the Bodleian Library.
The Christ Church is famous for children’s literature and Alice in Wonderland. It was founded in 1546 by King Henry VIII, and is one of the larger colleges of the University of Oxford. Before we got to view the church, we were given headphones and tiny tablet-like devices that allowed us to stop throughout the church and get the history of at least 15 different parts of the Church. I have a few favorites from the Christ Church that interested me the most. The Hall Stairs lead to the great hall, the stairs are where part of Harry Potter was filmed! The Great hall is where students and faculty eat everyday. Ante Hall is the oldest part of the college, it dates back to the 1500s. It’s used the same way then as it is now. Students and Staff will use this hall for special events as well as a place to eat.
The “no peel” door is probably one of the oldest student graffiti to date. It was left by Robert Peel. Robert Peel wanted to remove the discrimination against roman catholics and he succeeded. He also formed the first police service.
Tom quad holds a bell called great time. It’s been there for over 300 years. At 9:05 the bell rings to let students know when to be back in the college. It holds about 420 undergrad students and 300 graduate students.
The Fell Tower is a part of the Tom Squad. It is named after John Gell who finished the 4th side of the Quad. When students take exams here they wear black gowns to recognize that fact.
The cathedral is a peaceful place where people come to worship god, pray for loved ones or simply reflect on life. All religions or no religion, you are welcome to use this quiet building for whatever you need.
Finally, the Jonah window was named after the prophet Jonah. He was sent by God to preach to the people. The window was made by painting this glass glass but Jonah himself was made from stained glass which is “the most important part of the window”.
The last thing I did in Oxford was visit the Blenheim Palace. I’ve got to say that it was my favorite scenic view. The outside and inside are perfectly kept up with and it really brings out the beauty of the palace. It is a World Heritage site with over 300 years of history and is home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family! It was such a privilege to be able to see the inside and outside of his home!
In my last learning adventure in England, I am glad it was Oxford. Another amazing part of England that I am so grateful I was able to see.
Farewell blogs.. until next time