Death and love in York

To say that the Northern English city of York has a rich history and cultural heritage would be an understatement. It was founded on the river Ouse (below) by the Romans almost 2000 years ago, only a single generation after the crucifixion of Christ.

20130224-210852.jpg

The city walls are the most extensive in the UK with the majority dating back to Medieval times (as below) but some to when the city was in the hands of the Vikings (such as the brilliantly named, Eric Bloodaxe) or the Romans.

20130224-212231.jpg

York castle

20130224-212811.jpg

The ruined keep of the castle, Clifford’s Tower (above), is largely all that remains. It stands proud above the city but has a dark past. In 1190, the new king Richard I’s (the brutal crusader romanticised as Coeur de lion) overseas conquests were sparking anti semitism at home. A mob chased at least 150 Jewish people to the castle where they appealed for protection. Locked inside the keep they were besieged for days. As their fate became inevitable, rather than renounce their faith, they killed themselves and then their bodies were set alight to prevent mutilation post mortem. The wooden keep was raised to the ground. Eventually, the current stone edifice was built in its place. Although this building too was to be gutted by fire…

20130224-215147.jpg

From the ruined ramparts (above) another, hugely important historical building can be seen…

York Minster

20130224-220055.jpg

As the seat of the second most senior priest in the Anglican Church, York Minster is appropriately grand and impressive.

I felt enormously privileged that my fiancée and I were able to attend a wedding, of friends of ours, in the Minster. The architecture, and history of the place is a superbly fitting setting to tie the knot…

20130224-221411.jpg

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s