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No matter how much you search, you can hardly find any other city of England as medieval as York. If you wish to travel to a destination of particular cultural and historical interest, book your airtickets to York, one of England’s few modern cities that have retained much of their pre-industrial charm. Protected inside medieval and Roman walls – the finest in Britain – York extends inside a medieval labyrinth of stone and cobbled streets, travelling visitors back in time. Contrary to other cases, modern achievements made York even more beautiful and interesting, preserving the city’s long heritage and promoting culture and art. Dozens of museums examine York’s history and archaeology, world-class art galleries satisfy even the most demanding visitor and everywhere around the city you can feel an aura of grandiosity and magnificence. Book your accommodation in one of York’s cheap hotels and let yourselves get lost in a city of castles, medieval walls and fairy-tale charm.
York is the oldest city of the English North, situated in Northern Yorkshire, at the banks of River Ouse. Named the county town of Yorkshire for centuries, York has a population of 182,000. It is the seat of the Archbishop of York and, in terms of hierarchy of the Church of England, comes second only to the Cathedral of Canterbury.
The fortifications, the streets and buildings of the city reflect the different stages of York’s history, from Roman antiquity and the epic times of the Vikings, to the Georgian era of the medieval times.
York became part of the Roman Empire in 71 BC; the years that followed it grew to be a powerful hub, attracting the attention of the Vikings, who then succeeded the Romans. They conquered the city and named it Jórvík.
Visitors in York are amazed by the city’s perfect balance of its extremely well-preserved medieval core, elegantly surrounded by York’s modern face. Featuring a great variety of museums and other points of attraction, magnificent historic architecture and a vibrant nightlife, York lets down no one!
York is served by the Leeds Bradford International Airport, located 50 kilometres from York city centre. From there, you can get to York either by bus or by train, through Leeds’s railway station.
You can get around York using the city’s extensive bus network (First York). Day fares cost 2.20£ and minimum taxi fare 3.50£.
Your day in York begins at the city’s main attraction and landmark; the York Minster is the largest medieval church in Northern Europe and surely one of the most beautiful Gothic churches in the world.
The first church was built on that location in 627, entirely made of wood. Since then, many more chapels and churches were constructed above one another, traces of which are kept in the cathedral’s crypt and you can still see today. The York Minster as we know it, was completed during 1220-1480 and is the seat of the Archbishop of York, second in power only to the Cathedral of Canterbury.
Climb up the 275 stairs to the top of the tower looming over the centre of the York Minster and you’ll be awarded with a fantastic panoramic view of York!
York is surrounded by a series of walls, the largest part of which remains almost intact. They cover an area of 7 kilometres and, though mainly medieval, some of them date back to the Roman times. On your way across the path by the walls, you will come across a series of important sights, including gates and other remnants of York’s fortifications.
Go for a walk around the city and head to the Shambles, York’s most popular district. Officially called “The Great Flesh Shambles”, they were named after the Saxon term “Fleshshammels” (flesh-shelves), as this was the location of York’s slaughterhouses and meat market.
A series of 25 traditional 16th-century Tudor buildings line the street that once served as the meat market. The street is so narrow, that the opposite balconies meet each other and form iconic arches.
Of the historic castle of York remains only a tower known as Clifford’s Tower, accompanied by the York Castle Museum. This excellent museum was founded in 1938 by Dr. John L. Kirk, on the site of some 18th century former prisons. Collections focus on the lifestyle of the inhabitants of the fortified city and include life-size representations of streets, depictions of everyday life and other memorabilia of that time.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the National Railway Museum of York, the largest of its kind in the world, with a fine collection of over 100 historic steam engines.
This splendid museum will fascinate you, even if you aren’t particularly keen on trains, due to its great historical value and beauty.
York’s official language is English.