Saturday, May 1, 2010

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral dates back to 597AD. It is the original Anglican Church in the United Kingdom and the first incarnation of the church was built for the Pagan King Ethelbert's wife, Queen Bertha, to worship! In short, it is incredibly old!

The inside is pretty impressive. Although I think we are starting to develop a bit of boredom with cathedrals in general. Seems like if you have seen one you have seen them all. And we have seen some of the greats: Notre Dame in Paris, Koln Dom in Germany, St Vitus in Prague just to name a few. The exception to this might just be the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. 

The church has a ton of history. Some may have heard of Thomas Becket. He was Arch Bishop of Canterbury and was killed in the church by 'order' of King Henry II. Following his death, his tomb became a point of mass pilgrimage as it was believed that miracles occurred there. However, in the 1530's King Henry VIII destroyed the shrine when he overtook the church and declared himself the head of the Church of England. I overheard the guide say that they King's men carted away almost 30 wagons of jewels that pilgrims had left! 

When Matt and Michelle came to visit, Michelle kept saying that everything reminded her of Harry Potter. I bet the Cloisters would have made her say it again! 

Except for the graves in the middle, I could see Harry kicking off for a quick fly about on his broom stick! I wonder if thinking about Harry Potter at such a holy and religious site is sacrilege? 

Following our tour of the Cathedral we walked around the streets of Canterbury and ended our day on a punting boat tour... Until next time! XXX

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