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ENGLAND - FEATURED HOTELS & TRAVEL GUIDE:
Winchester Cathedral - England's
Most Beautiful Cathedral by Robin OBrien
England has many beautiful
cathedrals, but in my opinion, Winchester Cathedral is without doubt the
most beautiful. Its scale, architecture and setting make it unrivalled.
And, if that wasn't enough, the cathedral happens to be in England's most
preserved and picturesque city.
|Winchester has been a place
of importance for over 2 millennia. After the conversion to Christianity,
the people of Wessex built a place of worship on the sport where the present
cathedral now stands. The recorded church is from about AD 169 when Lucius,
'King of the Britons', converted to Christianity. He made Winchester is
seat of power and the cathedral the centre of worship for his people.
Not much is known about the
first church; it was destroyed and rebuilt several times over the next
few hundred years as pagan and Christian warlords fought for control over
the area. This era of uncertainty was finally ended in 635 when king Kynegils
defeated the Saxon king, Cerdic. The king destroyed the pagan temple 'Dagon'
and laid the foundation stones for his Christian church. From that day
onwards, there as been a Christian place of worship on this same spot.
King Alfred the Great was
probably the most famous patron of the cathedral. Alfred - after many setbacks
- defeated the Danes thus preventing the southern half of England from
Viking rule. Upon his victory he was crowned King of England in the cathedral
and made Winchester his home and capital of the ancient kingdom of Wessex.
Nothing now remains of Alfred's cathedral.
Winchester was once the ancient
capital of England and, even after it was surpassed by London, it remained
an important city. Many of the Bishop's of Winchester were men of importance
and wealth. One it's greatest bishops was William of Wykeham. He became
bishop in 1366 and was twice Chancellor of England, Founder of Winchester
College and New College Oxford.
|But perhaps the most famous
bishop of Winchester was St Swithin. Not much is known about him except
that he became bishop in 852. We do know that he died on July 2 862 and
was buried, at his request, in the churchyard so that "the sweet rain of
heaven may fall upon my grave". Later his body was removed for reburial,
which was against his dying wish. Legend has it that it rained for 40 days.
To this present day we have the superstition that if it rains on St Swithin's
day we are in for 40 more wet days.
Building of the present day
cathedral began in 1079. It was built in the baroque style. The cathedral's
diocese once stretched from London to The Channel Islands. The cathedral
was originally occupied by Benedictine monks, however they were removed
during the Reformation; you can still see parts of the remains of the monastic
buildings in the Cathedral Close.
Central to the life of the
monks was the opus dei (the Work of God), the regular offering of prayer,
which they sang in the choir. This tradition still carries on at the cathedral.
The choir is now comprised of boys from the Pilgrim's School, which is
adjacent to the cathedral. The Winchester choir now enjoys a world wide
reputation for its music.
|Many famous people have
been connected with Winchester College. Queen Mary married Philip of Spain
in the cathedral.
For people nowadays, the
most famous person associated with Winchester Cathedral is Jane Austen,
the novelist. Jane Austen was born in Hampshire and lived most of her life
in the county. She spent the last year of her life in Winchester. Her tomb
is inside the cathedral.
The power and wealth that
once belonged to Winchester Cathedral is still palpable but today it has
a gentile and tranquil character to it. It still serves as a place of worship
for the local population as well as a beautiful spot in which to picnic
in its delightful gardens.
/ Winchester Featured Hotels
About the Author: Follow
the links for more information about Winchester
Cathedral. You can also find out about Winchester accommodation - where
you can book online - as well as things to do in Winchester.
ENGLAND - FEATURED HOTELS:
browsing Winchester Hotels
Lodge Hotel Winchester
This hotel is located in
Winchester. Great Hall and Winchester Cathedral are area attarctions. Another
nearby attraction is University of Winchester. Harestock Lodge Hotel features
a bar/lounge. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public
areas. Guest parking is complimentary. Bathrooms feature hair dryers. Wireless
Internet access is complimentary. Televisions are available in guestrooms.
Rooms also include desks and irons/ironing boards. Guestrooms are all non-smoking.
House Hotel Winchester
A picture perfect entrance,
lined with exquisitely lush lime trees, and a wonderful break from your
daily chores, the Lainston House Hotel is a classic 17th century house
standing gracefully in a lovely Hampshire parkland. Minutes away
from the historic city of Winchester and just a short drive from Salisbury,
Stonehenge as well as the New Forest, Lainston House is the ideal location
from which to explore nearby local attractions. The property is also easily
accessible from London via the M3. The Avenue Restaurant is a fine example
of exquisite dining amidst a refined interior. The menu tastefully blends
both traditional English cooking and modern cuisine.
This hotel is located in
Winchester, and Winchester Guildhall, Winchester Cathedral, and Great Hall
are area attractions. Another nearby attraction is City Museum. Dining
options at Mercure Wessex Winchester include a restaurant and a bar/lounge.
Wireless Internet access is available in public areas. Bathrooms feature
hair dryers. Televisions have satellite channels. Rooms also include desks,
trouser presses, irons/ironing boards, and clock radios. Guests may request
This hotel is located close
to the airport. Attractions in the neighborhood include Winchester Cathedral
and Great Hall. Another nearby attraction is Winchester Guildhall. Winchester
Royal Hotel features currency exchange, express check-out, and self parking.
This Winchester property has event space consisting of conference/meeting
rooms and small meeting rooms. Wireless Internet access (surcharge) is
available in public areas. Guest parking is complimentary. Additional property
amenities include a porter/bellhop. This is a smoke-free property. Bathrooms
feature shower/tub combinations, makeup/shaving mirrors, complimentary
toiletries, and hair dryers.