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The garden of Christ Church Greyfriars Rose Garden in London

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A garden in the City of London created from the ruins of a medieval church and a little oasis of peace at any time of day. The first church that stood here was part of a Franciscan monastery and was built in 1306 in the Gothic style.

It was completely destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666 and rebuilt in 1687 in a neo-classical style by the great architect Christopher Wren, the tower was added later in 1704. 

The church was extremely important especially for the organ and the concerts that were held there. In 1940 during a German bombing the church was almost completely destroyed. Seven other Christopher Wren churches were destroyed the same night. The four walls and the tower remained.

After the war it was decided not to rebuild the church and in 1989 it was transformed into a garden. If you look carefully at what remains of the church, the garden follows what was the architecture of the building. You will see climbing roses instead of columns and other plants indicate where the church pews are.

Worked in many sectors including recruitment and marketing. Lucky to have found a soulmate who was then taken far too soon. No intention of moving on and definitely not moving to Thailand for the foreseeable future. Might move forward. Owned by a cat.

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Architecture

The Ivory Towers of All Souls College in Oxford

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The College of All Souls of the Faithful Departed was founded by Henry VI and Henry Chichele (Archbishop of Canterbury) in 1438. Unlike other Oxford colleges this one accepts only PhD Fellows and not undergraduate students.

It is famous for being extremely selective, until 2010 candidates were given only one word with which they had to write an essay for three hours, it was considered the most difficult exam in the world. Now the entrance exam has changed, but it remains extremely selective. After two days of exams about 5 finalists are invited to dinner and they have to take an oral test.

When you visit it, you cannot fail to notice the two towers of All Souls College, Hawksmoor Towers (it is said that the term Ivory Tower, used to describe the place where very academic people who have no contact with reality discuss problems, comes from these towers. Others say the term comes from the tower of Magdalen College).

You can also see the sundial built by Christopher Wren, the architect who planned London’s St Paul’s Cathedral. If you look closely, especially in the buildings to the north, you will see a series of terrifying gargoyles. Between the buildings to the north and those to the south is the chapel, unfortunately the original statues were destroyed in 1600 by some puritans and what you see are replicas of the 1800s.

The window, which you see in the western wall is called The Royal Window and dates back to to 1400 but obviously it has been changed several times. 

This college can only be visited from 2 to 4 pm on weekdays when the college is open, admission is free. A visit to Oxford could be a pleasant day trip from London.

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