Monday, August 22, 2011

THE BALLIOL COLLEGE IN OXFORD

While I was visiting Oxford I stayed in the Balliol College (all about its history here) During the summer holidays, the College rents rooms to guests. I had never stayed in a student's room and in such a famous College that of course I prefered to sleep there instead of an ordinary hotel room. And indeed it was a wonderful experience and such a beautiful place !

The College was founded in about 1263 by John I de Balliol under the guidance of the Bishop of Durham. After his death in 1268, his widow, Dervorguilla of Galloway, made arrangements to ensure the permanence of the college. She provided capital and, in 1282, formulated the college statutes, documents that survive to this day.

The front of the College and the entrance

the other side of the entrance

my room was simple but had everything I needed, even Internet connection

The buildings all around were just beautiful

A little bar called "Buttery" (I had never heard this word) provided tables, seats and banks to rest and you could have a drink there. Inside at the wall were hanging old pictures of ex students.

The Park was perfectly entertained and was really very beautiful

entrance to the Fellows' Garden

door in the dining hall

The founders, the Balliol couple

paintings of celebritieswho studied here hanging in the dining hall

the dining hall empty

and in the morning when a very good breakfast buffet was served

My blogfriend Janice who lives in Reading came over one day to visit me and we had a great time together.

I have been told that parts of Harry Potter movies were filmed in this room.

The church

The Altar

The organ

Beautiful stained windows

rather strange bible support

If ever you intent to visit Oxford, I can only recommend to stay in a College rather than in a Hotel. There was only one little inconvinience, my room was on the 5th floor without lift and there was nobody to carry my suitcase up there ! But this was really nothing compared to the beautiful place where I stayed.

If ever you want to read about my arrival at the College it's here

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Monday, August 15, 2011

OXFORD UK

I visited Oxford beginning August and stayed for 3 days at the Belliol College. It was a very interesting experience. Oxford is such a culturally rich city that it would be impossible to write everything down here. The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

So instead of me doing copy and paste just read everything about Oxford here.

I visited Oxford with a Sightseeing bus, once sitting on the left side, once sitting on the right side to take pictures. The information about the buildings we saw we got with the help of headphones in all languages. So I just show you what I have seen and can give a few explanations, because honnestly when you get off the bus your head explodes !

Propositions for Tourist. I prefered to choose the Bus and sit on top.

Balliol College, the college where I stayed.

Just in front of the college on Broad street. As you can see bicycles are nearly as much used as in Amsterdam !

on the way to Balliol College. The bicycles leaning against the fence of a cemetary. I had never seen that.

The High Street where all the shops are

Carfax Tower is all that remains of the 13th century St Martin's Church and is now owned by the Oxford City Council. It was the official City Church of Oxford, the main part of the church was demolished to make more room for traffic in the area. In 1896, the City Church was moved to All Saints Church in the High Street.

The Radcliffe Camera is a building designed by James Gibbs in the English Palladian style and built in 1737–1749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library. It has head sculptures all around, but apparently nobody knows exactly who they are. Maybe Roman emperors.

The Christ Church Cathedral. Oxford is unique in combining a college chapel and a cathedral in one foundation. Originally the Priory Church of St Frideswide, the building was extended and incorporated into the structure of the Cardinal's College shortly before its refounding as Christ Church in 1546, since when it has functioned as the cathedral of the Diocese of Oxford. It was also home to the real Alice of Alice in Wonderland (I wrote about it here)

Ashmolean Museum

Oxford City Hall

Can't remember what it was

The bridge is often referred to as the Bridge of Sighs because of its supposed similarity to the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice. However, Hertford Bridge was never intended to be a replica of the Venetian bridge.

Martyrs Memorial

Museum of Natural History

St. Mary's and Magdalene's Church

The Randolph Hotel where Inspector Morse of the TV series used to have his drinks while he mulled over the committed crimes.

In this little garage William Morris started to established the Morris Motor Company to mass produce cars in Cowley, on the south-eastern edge of the city. By the early 1970s over 20,000 people worked in Cowley at the huge Morris Motors.

boats to rent for punting

And below all the beautiful different styles of architecture I have seen.

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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