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Top sights in Oxford

Oxford is teeming with prestigious educational institutions and historical sites. Celebrated as Europe’s oldest university town, it has rivaled Cambridge for academic influence in England. Tick off many items on your Oxford must-see list when you explore its centuries-old buildings, museums, and the world-renowned university. Check out this helpful travel guide and discover what the city has in store for you!

Bodleian Library

Founded in 1602, Bodleian Library in Oxford is one of the oldest public libraries in Europe. It serves as the main research library of the university and has over 12 million items under its care. Some of its treasures are the Gutenberg Bible and the most important surviving manuscript written in Middle English, the Vernon Manuscript. In pop culture, the library was seen in many Hollywood films such as Harry Potter, The Golden Compass, and The Madness of King George III.
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Radcliffe Camera

Completed in 1749, Radcliffe Camera is one of the, if not the most iconic structures in Oxford. Its circular design and isolation from other buildings make it an ideal focal point around the campus. Named after Dr. John Radcliffe, who funded its construction, the library holds many history books within its walls. It also sits right across from Bodleian Library, providing additional reading rooms in case Bodleian becomes too crowded.
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Oxford Castle & Prison

Completed in the 13th-century, Oxford Castle is one of the well-known castles in England. For centuries, royal affairs and rebellion happened in the castle. In the 18th-century, the owners at the time made a profit by leasing the castle to the local wardens. It was the time the castle gained its reputation as one of the cruelest prisons in the UK. Rumor has it, the place is still haunted by its past. Today, the building is now home to an education center that shares its interesting history.
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University Church of St Mary the Virgin

Notable for its prominent architecture, the University Church of St Mary the Virgin is one of the most iconic structures in Oxford. Originally built during Anglo-Saxon times, the church has seen many historical events and structural improvements over the centuries. The oldest part of the building is also its most striking — the tower. Constructed in 1280 and enhanced from 1315 to 1325, the tower is considered the best example of decorated Gothic architecture in Oxford.
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