Harry Potter in Oxford: Christ Church College Tour

Harry Potter in Oxford: Christ Church College Tour
 

Check out what it's like to visit Christ Church College, the most traditional school at the University of Oxford, in England. The place served as inspiration for the scenarios of the stories of the little wizard Harry Potter.

CHRIST CHURCH COLLEGE

In the post "England: What to do in Oxford – 1 day itinerary” We gave a complete itinerary, with maps and many tips to get to know one of the most interesting cities in England. It is in the city of Oxford that the oldest university in the world, the University of Oxford, founded in 1096. It is formed by a graduate of 38 “colleges” (colleges or schools). One of these “colleges” in Oxford is precisely Christ Church College. It was founded in 1524 by King Henry VIII and is considered the most traditional college at the University of Oxford.

Harry Potter in Oxford: Christ Church College Tour
Meadow Building, main entrance to Christ Church College

In fact, Christ Church is a joint foundation of the college and the Cathedral of the Diocese of Oxford (Christ Church Cathedral), which serves as the college's chapel. Christ Church has graduated many notable alumni, including 13 British prime ministers, King Edward VII, King William II of the Netherlands, 17 archbishops, famous writers such as Lewis Carroll (from Alice in Wonderland) and WH Auden, philosopher John Locke and scientist Robert Hooke.

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INSPIRATION FOR BOOKS AND MOVIES

The architecture, people and fun facts about life at Christ Church have inspired many writers and film producers. Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, studied and lived at Christ Church for 47 years. The school's dean's daughter, Alice Liddell, was immortalized in her stories through the work "Alice in Wonderland". The college's Great Hall has many connections to their stories. At the top of the fifth window from the left, are the figure of Alice and some creatures from the book. In addition, in front of the entrance to the school there is a little shop called Alice's Shop, which sells products related to the work.

Harry Potter in Oxford: Christ Church College Tour
Buildings have a yellowish hue

Currently, the college attracts thousands of visitors every year, as it inspired and was used in the filming of some scenes from the series' films. "Harry Potter" (2001-2011) and the feature "The Golden Compass" (2007). The Quads, Cloisters and Staircase to the Hall appear in the film. The Great Hall, on the other hand, served as inspiration for the Hogwarts Hall, which was recreated in the studio for filming (Read more: England: Amazing Harry Potter Studios Tour).

Harry Potter in Oxford: Christ Church College Tour
The famous Great Hall

HOW IS THE VISIT TO CHRIST CHURCH COLLEGE

To visit Christ Church College, you need to walk to the Mid Building located on Broad Walk. In this building is the ticket office, where you need to buy the ticket to visit the place. A curiosity is that the first time we were in Oxford, we were all set to visit the school, but we ended up not being able to do the tour because there was a fire in the kitchen! So, getting to know it was only on my second visit to Oxford that it was possible to take the self-guided tour of the area.

Harry Potter in Oxford: Christ Church College Tour
Arriving at Christ Church College

CHRIST CHURCH COLLEGE HIGHLIGHTS

1. THE MEADOW & MEADOW BUILDING

The Meadow Building is the main entrance to the college and was built to serve as a residence for undergraduate students during the 19th century. The rooms are still used by the college's students and staff and are right across from the Meadow, a quiet green area. The Gothic Venetian architectural style was developed by John Ruskin, a student at the university between the years 1837 and 1842.

Harry Potter in Oxford: Christ Church College Tour
Meadow Building

2. THE HALL STAIRCASE

Passing through the ticket office area, turn left and access the building. You will see the famous staircase that leads to the famous “The Great Hall”, all lit up with natural light through large windows facing the opposite direction. The beautiful ceiling under the staircase, all designed in the form of fans, was installed in 1638. Climb the beautiful staircase to reach the highlight of the visit.

Harry Potter in Oxford: Christ Church College Tour
The famous staircase leading to the Great Hall

3. THE GREAT HALL

The Great Hall is the heart of college life. It is the place where academic community meetings take place and where students eat all their meals daily, and organize important celebrations. At those times when the place is used by students, it is closed to the public. This hall is the largest pre-Victorian hall of a college in Oxford or Cambridge and seats up to 300 people. The beautiful wooden ceiling and the many portraits on all the walls of the room give all the charm of the place. The featured portrait is of Henry VIII, founder of the college.

4. QUAD TONE

Returning via the staircase, turn left to reach the Tom Quad, the largest square in Oxford measuring 79.5 mx 80.5 m. The site became known as the Tom Quad in the 17th century, when a 6-ton bell, called the “Great Tom”, was installed in Christopher Wren's Tower.

Harry Potter in Oxford: Christ Church College Tour
The wide Quad tone with the Tower highlighted

5. THE CATHEDRAL

Much of what we see today is a reconstruction work of an ancient priory built between 1170 and 1190. A part of it was used to expand the Tom Quad. Fortunately, the remainder of the 12th-century building remains standing and is the chapel of Christ Church College. Among the highlights of the cathedral are several colorful stained glass windows (Jonah Window, St Michel Window, East Window, Becket Window), some chapels (Latin Chapel, Bell Chapel, Chapel of Remembrance), the beautiful ceiling and, of course, the main altar.

6. CHAPTER HOUSE

This area is one of the oldest in the Cathedral of Christ Church. It was originally built to house meetings of monks in the old priory. Currently, there is a shop on site with gift items, books and many items related to the University.

7. THE CLOISTER

The Cloisters area, like the Cathedral, is part of the original Priory of St Frideswide, which was built on the site before the college was erected. An olive tree (traditional symbol of peace) and a fountain are contemporary additions to the Cloisters area and a hallmark of this sacred space.

Harry Potter in Oxford: Christ Church College Tour
cloisters
Harry Potter in Oxford: Christ Church College Tour
View of the building from the cloisters area
Harry Potter in Oxford: Christ Church College Tour
central area of the building

8. PICTURE GALLERY

It is also possible to include in the tour the Picture Gallery, a gallery with paintings and sculptures, opened in 1968, which can be visited for an additional fee. The gallery brings together beautiful collections of paintings and old drawings by the great European masters. Among the highlights are works by Van Dyck, Tintoretto, Veronese, Carraci, Lippi and many others. For visitors wishing to tour the entire school, entrance is at Meadow Gate. If you only want to visit the Picture Gallery, the entrance is through the Canterbury Gate in Oriel Square. Remembering that it is forbidden to take pictures inside the gallery.

HOW TO GO TO OXFORD FROM LONDON

Those who do not want to participate in tours or excursions to Oxford can use the train service. To buy train tickets, we recommend the website TrainLine. By buying in advance, you can get good ticket prices. Trains depart from the train station London Paddington or London Marylebone. Be careful when buying tickets because there are options that make the direct route, but also others that need to change trains. see more Tips for traveling by train in England.

TOURS TO OXFORD FROM LONDON

For those who don't want to worry about going by car or public transport from London, you can opt for one of the great options of tours and excursions that take visitors on several interesting tours. Check out some of the options offered:

> HARRY POTTER
> CITY TOURS AND BOAT TOURS
> TOUR COMBOS
> > INCLUDING CAMBRIDGE
>> INCLUDING COTSWOLDS AND STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
>> INCLUDING STONEHENGE
>> OTHERS

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Christ Church College – University of Oxford

  • Address: St. Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1DP, England
  • Schedules:
    • Hall + Cathedral: usually Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm / Sunday from 2 pm to 5 pm – the Hall is normally closed from 12 pm to 2 pm as it is lunch time for university students
    • Picture Gallery:
      • October to May: Monday and Wednesday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 4:30 pm / Sunday from 2 pm to 4:30 pm / closed on Tuesdays
      • June: Monday and Wednesday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 5 pm / Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm / closed on Tuesdays
      • July to September: Monday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 5 pm / Sunday from 2 pm to 5 pm
      • Tours: every Monday at 2:30 pm
  • Entrance:
    • Hall + Cathedral: £8 from January to June and September to December / £10 from July to August
    • Picture Gallery: £4 / £10 annual ticket (unlimited entries throughout the year)

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Viajonários is formed by a Brazilian couple who have been living abroad since 2014, with passages in California and London. Passionate about travel, cinema, sports, music, history and technology. Don't forget to follow the social media to know about all the adventures!

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