Canterbury is one of the most famous tourist destinations in England.
It is a city in eastern Kent, in the South East England. It's a rather small city, populated by 40-45 thousand people, and it's well known for its Cathedral. Canterbury is the seat of the Archbishop of the English Church (titled as the Archbishop of Canterbury) and it has been the destination of pilgrims for centuries.
The relationship of the town with Christianity goes very deep in time. Its first Archbishop was St Augustine of Canterbury, who was sent from Rome in 6th century to lay the foundations of the English Church. The Abbey of Augustine as well the Cathedral and the St Martin's Church - England's oldest parish church in continuous use - are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
An important year for the Canterbury Cathedral and the English Christian Church in general is 1170. The Archbishop at that time, Thomas Becket, was murdered in the Cathedral just before the evensong by knights of King Henry II. Thomas Becket has been in the past a King's Chancellor but when he became an Archbishop the conflicts with the King began. After his murder, Thomas Becket was seen as a martyr by the Christians all over Europe and was canonized by Pope just three years later.
And now it's time for some photos.
Entering the town center from the west side, we see the Westgate Tower.
The high street, full of shops, cafes, restaurants, stalls with ice creams and sausages, musicians etc.
First view of the Cathedral. You can see the tall bell tower from miles away.
Heading towards the Cathedral we reach the Christchurch Gate.
And then you just admire the enormity and the architecture of the Cathedral.
Taking photographs inside the Cathedral is allowed, except for inside the Crypt.
The sculptured and painted Medieval pulpit.
The Martyrdom, the exact point where Thomas Becket was murdered.
The Bell tower viewed from inside.
The bronze eagle-shaped lectern and behind the Alter and St. Augustine's throne.
The Cathedral has lots of impressive stained glass windows, some of them of historical value. Below you can see one of them. In the last row, the one in the middle, shows Adam (Adam Delving) is dated back in 1176 AD and is one of the oldest stained glasses in Great Britain. Click to see in more detail.
In the west side there are two stained glass windows with quite different style. It reminded me some... cartoons.
And in detail...
The Cathedral tends to host cultural events like concerts. Here a youth Orchestra is rehearsing... It should be amazing performing in a place like that...
You can see more of my photos from the trip to Canterbury in flickr.
Information: Canterbury Cathedral, wikipedia.