The world famous city of Dreaming Spires is popular with its great amount of educational institutions and a place in history. For over 800 years it has been a home for royalty and scholars and now it has a cosmopolitan flavor in the town. Being a successful mixture of both antiquity and modernity this magnificent city has much to offer both the tourist and the resident of this town. Whether you are visiting for business or pleasure you will find a wide range of attractions and places to see and to visit. Among its most famous and captivating architectural sites are Christ Church and of course, Blenheim Palace. We propose that you have a brief virtual tour of these wonderful and thrilling Oxford sights.
Blenheim Palace is the only non-Episcopal large and monumental country house in England to have the title of palace. Blenheim Palace is considered to be one of England's greatest houses in every sense of the word. Being built between 1705 and 1722, by the prominent architect Sir John Vanbrugh, the Blenheim Palace construction is the object of admiration and cultural wealth. Blenheim Palace was a gift to the first Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill from a grateful nation in return for a military triumph against the French. Marlborough was given the former royal manor of Woodstock to build the new palace and Parliament voted to put a substantial sum of money towards its creation. Later on, the relationship between Queen Anne and the wife of the first Duke of Marlborough became stained and fraught with problems and lead to Marborough's banishment abroad until the Queen's death. After the completion of the palace, it became the home of the Churchill Family for the next three hundred years. During this time various members of the family made many changes, in the interiors, park, and the gardens, some for the better and some for the worse. Designed in the rare and short lived English baroque, Blenheim Palace is as divided today as it was in the 1720's. It still remains the home of the Dukes of Marlborough; the present incumbent of the title is John George Vanderbilt Spencer Churchill, who is the 11th Duke of Marlborough. Like those Dukes that came before him, he lives part of the year in the palace with his family occupying the dame suite of rooms as the first Duke and Duchess. Today, Blenheim Palace is opened to the public and contains a number of tourist attractions on the grounds of the palace. The process of diversifying for home to business began in the 21st century which was essential for the palace's survival. As a result, today you may see such commercial concerns as a maze, adventure playground, mini train and gift shops, a butterfly house, fishing, and even the bottling of a branded mineral water. However, Blenheim Palace remains an extraordinary monument to both personal and national glory.
Another one of Oxford's pearls is Christ Church which is one of the most unique combinations of one of the largest universities in the colleges of Oxford and the Cathedral Church for the Diocese of Oxford. Being originally founded by Cardinal Woolsey as Cardinal's in 1524, at the site of Saint Fridgewide's Monastery and dated back to the earliest days of Oxford as a settlement in the ninth century AD, Christ Church is considered to be one of the sublime architectural values of England. Sitting right in the heart of Oxford but bonded by its meadows and both the rivers Cherwell and Iris, Christ Church is visually stunning with its architecture. Christopher Wren's Tom Tower is the college's most famous feature and an Oxford landmark.
Christ Church has had many students who have received considerable fame. Among these students are the philosopher John Locke, religious leaders William Penn, and John Wesley, writers W.H Auden and Lewis Carroll. Christ Church has produced 13 Prime Ministers and many cabinet ministers, Bishops, and civil servants. Christ Church today is a busy academic community with a great amount of students about 450 undergraduates and 150 graduates. The dual life of church and college continues to complement each other forming a unique community in the center of Oxford.