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About Oxford

Oxford

 

 

 

Oxford  is a city in southern England and the county townof Oxfordshire. With a population of 150,200 it is the 52nd largest city in the United Kingdom, and one of the fastest growing and most ethnically diverse.

Oxford has a broad economic base. Its industries include motor manufacturing, education, publishing, and a large number of information technology and science-based businesses, some being academic offshoots.

The city is known worldwide as the home of Oxford University, the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

Buildings in Oxford demonstrate examples of every English architecturalperiod since the arrival of the Saxons, including the mid-18th-centuryRadcliffe Camera. Oxford is known as the "city of dreaming spires", a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold.


 

 

 

From top left to bottom right: Oxford skyline panorama from St Mary's Church; Radcliffe Camera; High Street from above looking east; University College; High Street by night; Natural History Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum.
From top left to bottom right: Oxford skyline panorama from St Mary's Church; Radcliffe Camera; High Street from above looking east; University College; High Street by night; Natural History Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum.

 

 

 

 

 

History

 

 

 

"Oxenaforda", meaning "Ford of the Oxen"; fords were more common than bridges at that time.[11] It began with the establishment of a river crossing for oxen around AD 900. In the 10th century, Oxford became an important military frontier town between the kingdoms of Mercia andWessex and was on several occasions raided by Danes.

Oxford was heavily damaged during the Norman Invasion of 1066. Following the conquest, the town was assigned to a governor, Robert D'Oyly, who ordered the construction of Oxford Castle to confirm Norman authority over the area. The castle has never been used for military purposes[dubious ] and its remains survive to this day. D'Oyly set up a monastic community in the castle consisting of a chapel and living quarters for monks (St George in the Castle). The community never grew large but it earned its place in history as one of the oldest places of formal education in Oxford. It was there that in 1139 Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote his History of the Kings of Britain, a compilation of Arthurian legends.

 

The University of Oxford is first mentioned in 12th-century records. As the University took shape, tension between the hundreds of students living where and how they pleased led to a decree that all undergraduates would have to reside in approved halls. Of the hundreds of Aularian houses that sprang up across the city, only St Edmund Hall (c. 1225) remains. What put an end to the halls was the emergence of colleges. Oxford's earliest colleges were University College (1249), Balliol (1263) and Merton (1264). These colleges were established at a time when Europeans were starting to translate the writings of Greek philosophers. These writings challenged European ideology, inspiring scientific discoveries and advancements in the arts, as society began to see itself in a new way. These colleges at Oxford were supported by the Church in the hope of reconciling Greek philosophy and Christian theology. The relationship between "town and gown" has often been uneasy – as many as 93 students and townspeople were killed in the St Scholastica Day Riot of 1355.

The sweating sickness epidemic in 1517 was particularly devastating to Oxford and Cambridge where it killed half of both cities' populations, including many students and dons.

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.

The Oxford Martyrs were tried for heresy in 1555 and subsequently burnt at the stake, on what is now Broad Street, for their religious beliefs and teachings. The three martyrs were the bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, and the ArchbishopThomas Cranmer. The Martyrs' Memorial stands nearby, round the corner to the North on St. Giles.

 

 

 

 

Shopping

 



 

 

Outside the City Centre



 

 



Landmarks

 




The spires of Oxford facing Christ Church to the south (Christ Church Cathedral on the left and Tom Tower on the right)

 

 

 

 

 

The University of Oxford

 

 

The main quadrangle of University College

 

 

 

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of the most famous and prestigious higher education institutions of the world, averaging five applications to every available place, and attracting 40% of its academic staff and 15% of undergraduates from overseas. It is currently ranked as fifth-best university in the world, according to QS World Rankings, behind its main UK rival, Cambridge, in first place.

Oxford is renowned for its tutorial-based method of teaching, with students attending an average of one one-hour tutorial a week.


 




The city centre

 




 

 
The Oxford Aviation Academy Piper PA-34 Seneca at Oxford Airport

 

 

 

 

 

 

View from Carfax Tower

 




 




 

 

As well as being a major draw for tourists (9.1 million in 2008, similar in 2009), Oxford city centre has many shops, several theatres, and an ice rink. The historic buildings make this location a popular target for film and TV crews.

The city centre is relatively small, and is centred on Carfax, a cross-roads which forms the junction of Cornmarket Street (pedestrianised), Queen Street (semi-pedestrianised), St Aldate's and The High. Cornmarket Street and Queen Street are home to Oxford's various chain stores, as well as a small number of independent retailers, one of the longest established of which is Boswells, which was founded in 1738. St Aldate's has few shops but has several local government buildings, including the Town Hall, the city police station and local council offices. The High (the word street is traditionally omitted) is the longest of the four streets and has a number of independent and high-end chain stores, but mostly University and College buildings.

There are two small shopping centres in the city centre: The Clarendon Centreand The Westgate Centre. The Westgate Centre is named for the original West Gate in the city wall, and is located at the west end of Queen Street. It is quite small and contains a number of chain stores and a supermarket. The Westgate Shopping Centre is to undergo a large and controversial refurbishment; the plans involve tripling the size of the centre to 750,000 sq ft (70,000 m2), a new 1,335 space underground car park and 90 new shops and bars, including a 230,000 sq ft (21,000 m2John Lewis department store. There is to be a new and improved transport system, a complete refurbishment of the existing centre and the surrounding Bonn Square area. The development plans include a number of new homes, and completion is expected in 2011, although this is being delayed due to the current financial climate.

Blackwell's Bookshop is a large bookshop which claims the largest single room devoted to book sales in the whole of Europe, the cavernous Norrington Room (10,000 sq ft).

 

 



Other attractions


 

 

 
The Malmaison Hotel in Oxford Castle






 

 



Parks and nature walks

 

Oxford is a very green city, with several parks and nature walks within the ring road, as well as several sites just outside the ring road. In total, 28 Nature Reserves exist within or just outside of Oxford ring road, including:

 

 

 

 

Education

 

There are two universities in Oxford, the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University, as well as the further educationinstitution Ruskin College. The Islamic Azad University also has a campus near Oxford.

 

 

 

Culture

"Dreaming spires" of Oxford University viewed from South Park in the snow.

 





Theatres and cinemas


 

 

Literature and film


 

 

Oxford appears in the following works:

 

 

 

 

 

Gallery

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford


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