Oxford City: its 'Colleges', and its incredible curiosities
On the banks of the River Thames is one of the most important epicenters of knowledge, Oxford, a university town located in the county of Oxfordshire in England, home to Oxford University, the oldest university in Britain.
Years of history and education, traditions and much prestige, mark the life of this place, a city where you can live the university atmosphere like nowhere else, and where you can enjoy the most academic and literary facet of England.
Illustrious personalities visited Oxford...imagine Albert Einstein teaching in one of this Colleges?
In Oxford there is no building that is the 'University'.
Visiting the university in Oxford means visiting the whole city, since there is not one single concentration point, but many academic points. This is because the university in Oxford is closely related to the famous 'colleges'.
But...what are the Colleges that everyone is talking about?
Colleges are like microsocieties within the city, where students, after a very difficult selection process are accepted to begin studying within these prestigious educational centers. Each college has its own self-government and independent funding. In addition, each one of them is responsible for the teaching, food and accommodation of its students.
Oxford has 38 colleges, which by date, we could say that the oldest college in Oxford is the University College, created in 1249. However, Balliol College, from 1263 and Merton College from 1264, compete with it.
One of the most curious aspects is that everything is located in the same space, that is, the colleges have their own dining room, library and chapel and have an area where the students' rooms and private areas are located, and another area where the teachers and their offices are located. In addition, all have outdoor areas where they can rest, walk or air out without having to leave the college premises. In some cases, these areas, which sometimes constitute huge and well-tended gardens, are private and exclusive to students and staff of that college, although on other occasions they are also open to the public.
Another curiosity of these Oxford colleges is the bridge that joins the two buildings of Hertford College. It is a replica of the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice, which seems to have been transported from the canals of the Italian city.
Many of the schools close on specific days and it depends on each case. The same goes for their schedule, which varies according to the day and depending on whether there is a special event within the premises. They do not have any obligation to open to the public, so when they want to avoid the entrance of tourists they simply put the sign 'Closed to visitors'.
Christ Church College is one of the most visited due to several reasons, one of them being its incredible collection of paintings, which includes authors such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Although, to tell the truth, this beautiful building begun to be famous worldwide thanks to the fact that it was used for many of the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone shots, such as the stairs that lead to the Hall, wonderfully adorned by a flowery vault.
Another environment, which you will surely remember if you saw the movie, is the amazing dining room, witness to several of the scenes. This dining room is a spectacular space, and it is incredible to think that it is still used for the meals of the members of the College! It was here that Lewis Carroll, one of his famous students, wrote the ineffable and psychedelic Alice in Wonderland. Such is the fame of the site with respect to this work that even a stained glass window has been decorated with the characters of the book and it is said that many of the decorations in the room gave rise to the characters and situations of the story.
Merton College is another famous college, why? The strength of the film Lord of the Rings was created based on this college. It has the oldest university library in Europe and can only be visited in summer.
It is known that students study a lot, so it is not possible to interrupt their study in winter. The exams are very difficult, and it would not be a good idea to fail because every year, studying in one of these prestigious establishments, costs about 20,000 euros!
If you are touring London, a visit to the charming Oxford is more than recommended...
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