Monday, April 26, 2010

September 19, 2009 - City of York, Yorkshire

Marian had never been to York before and my most recent visit was a school trip in 1953, so there was much to discover in this city of 137,000. York is a walled city, having more wall length than any other English city - almost 2-1/2 miles of walkable walls - stretching between many of the six bars, or gates that control access to the old city.
In recent decades, the economy of York has shifted away from reliance on candy companies such as Rowntree and Terry along with various railway-related industries, to one that provides services. The University has become a significant source of employment and tourism is a major contributor to city fortunes. Indeed, York was voted as European Tourism City of the Year by European Cities Marketing in June 2007 beating out 130 other European cities.

The city walls are punctuated by four main gatehouses, or 'bars', (Bootham Bar, Monk Bar, Walmgate Bar and Micklegate Bar) and two smaller gates, Fishergate and Victoria.
In medieval times the bars were used to control traffic as well as extact tolls and provide defensive positions in times of war.
York has had a Christian presence since 300 CE. The first church on the site of the present Minster was a wooden structure built hurriedly in 627 to provide a place to baptize Edwin, King of Northumbria. Moves toward a more substantial building began in the 630s. A stone structure was completed in 637 by Oswald and was dedicated to Saint Peter. The present Minster was started in the 13th century. York is also renowned for an extraordinary number of pubs scattered throughout the old city and in the urban area around the city. Beware, there are LOTS of pictures to be seen Part I here and then Part II.

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