Canterbury is Mecca for tourists. It is England's most famous cathedral city of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Nowadays it's a UNESCO world heritage site sits on the River Stour in one of the most attractive corners of rural Kent. It is one of the oldest cities of England that has great amount of sights attracting throngs of tourists annually. When your travel agent advises you to have Canterbury holidays, don't even dare to refuse - you won't forget them!
Having Canterbury holidays, choose the tour corresponds to your wishes and needs in the best way. Try to visit as many places of interest as possible - there are great amount of them. Canterbury holidays must be started with cathedrals and the most prominent one is Canterbury Cathedral also known as Norman Cathedral. This huge, dominating the skyline Canterbury Cathedral gives the 21st century visitors the same sense of reverence as their medieval counterparts. The building is famous for being home to the first
archbishop of the English in 602. The Cathedral, with St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church, form part of the UNESCO world heritage site. The Cathedral Church was founded in 597 AD by St Augustine.
The original Saxon church was destroyed by fire in 1067 and rebuilt again by the Normans in 1070. The cathedral became a place of pilgrimage in the middle ages. Making a pilgrimage was an important part of medieval life and pilgrims flocked to the city to visit the tomb of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket, who was murdered in his cathedral. You may don't know that Geoffrey Chaucer wrote his famous Canterbury Tales while one of the fist pilgrimages to the shrine of Thomas Becket. Nowadays this noble and marvelous Cathedral still welcomes great amount of tourist that are delighted with its awe.
Others two components of the UNESCO world heritage site - St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church - are situated near by the Canterbury Cathedral. St Augustine's Abbey was founded by St Augustine in 597AD. Augustine, a monk from Rome, was sent by Pope Gregory to re-kindle Christianity in England. St Augustine's Abbey, known originally as the Abbey of St Peter and St Paul, is situated east of the Cathedral outside the City Wall. It was, from the first, a monastic Benedictine community. Nowadays Abbey site also includes a fascinating museum with genuine artifacts. Many visitors come to see what remains of the original structure, which consists of the Norman crypt, the Chapel of St. Pancras, and a component of the nave of the Abbey.
St Martin's Church is the oldest parish church in England. It was named after St. Martin, Bishop of Tours in France. It is believed to date back to Roman times. This church is situated further to the east from the Cathedral and was adapted in the 580s for Christian worship. It also was used by Queen Bertha. It has been in continuous use as a church ever since.
Another place of historic interest is Eastbridge Hospital. Originally this fascinating structure was a rest home for travelers. A bit later, second part of the 12th century, it served as a shelter for pilgrims. The most intriguing architecture features are the archways (12th century) that make up the hospital's historic undercroft and the crown-post roof (14th century).
Leeds's Castle is also worth visiting. This magnificent castle, surrounded by a lake, rests on hundreds of acres of parkland. The construction of this building embraces over 1,200 years. It began as a Norman fortress and then developed into a palace for Henry VIII. Today this castle serves as a museum. Visitors can delight with numerous displays of historic art, furniture, and draperies.
Another block of interest is Canterbury museums. None Canterbury holidays wouldn't do without visiting at least one of them.
Canterbury Heritage Museum houses a wealth of captivating information covering two thousand years of Canterbury's history. Canterbury Roman Museum, uniquely located underground beneath the Longmarket shopping centre, provides the visitors with probably the overall information concerning life and times of ancient Rome. Canterbury Royal Museum and Art Gallery calls attention to the artworks of such artists as Laura Knight, John Bratby, Walter Sickert, and JB Manson. West Gate Tower Museum, located in the 14th century West Gate Tower, is the Civil War and the Second World War arms and armaments depository.
Canterbury houses one of the biggest zoos in Europe - Howletts Wild Animal Park. Set in more than 70 acres of park land, this park hosts a wide variety of wild animals. As you see Canterbury Holidays tour will probably take not an hour, but much more. This city welcomes visitors from all four corners of the globe and has retained both an old world charm and a cosmopolitan vitality.