Some interesting facts about Oxford – The birthplace of Alice from Wonderland and bright hobbit Frodo

oxford oxfordshire

For many years Oxford has remained the position of one of the most attractive tourist places in England. It is quite understanding with Oxford’s architectural sophistication and unspoiltness, the fame of the 3rd honourable place in the midst of the oldest universities in the world (the 1st place belongs to the University of Bologna and the 2nd is after the University of Paris) as well as the recent popularity due to the sensational success of the films about Harry Potter. But beside its beautiful colleges with their ancient traditions and J.K. Rolling fictional wizards inhabiting Oxford, there are also some curious facts about the city:

• For Lewis Carroll, who spent the most of his life here, Oxford also became the place, where this multi-talented mathematician got to know his 4-year old muse Alice Liddell, having had inspired him for writing “Alice’s adventure in Wonderland”. For quite a while Carroll was the close friend of Henri Liddell’s family, the dean of Christ Church College, where the future author of the infamous book was teaching maths. Lewis Carroll, also well known for making friends with kids, was spending plenty of time with Alice and her siblings.
alice from wonderland
There is still a shop in 83, St Aldates, just opposite Christ Church College, where Alice with her older friend used to buy sweets or chocolates. The shop, which nowadays operates under the name of “Alice’s Shop”, also appears as the Old Sheep Shop in the second book about Alice “Through looking glasses”.

• Once for its long history Oxford became the capital of England. It occurred during the Civil War and only for a brief period though, when exiled from London Charles I was residing there with his court. According to some sources Adolph Hitler had in mind to use Oxford as his capital as well, the only reason the city didn’t afflict with the WWII bombing.
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• Oxford that in contrast to Cambridge has been making the accent on the humanities, is often associated with many talented artists, such as the eminent Elizabethan poet Sir Philip Sidney, J.R.R. Tolkien that presented the world with queer hobbits, the king of aestheticism Oscar Wilde, the father of the greatest architectural projects in London Sir Christopher Wren and the author of infamous “Collector” and “The Magus” John Fowles, who also portrayed Oxford and its society in his semi-autobiographical novel “Daniel Martin”. If you are a big fan of stories about Frodo and his hairy-legged friends, “The eagle and Child” is then the place you might be interested to visit. This pub is locally renowned as the gathering site of “The Inklings”, the literature circle Tolkien was in, and the house, where for the first time he read out “The Lord of the Rings” to his fellows.
oxford oxfordshire

Oxford Ashmolean Museam is not only a proud owner of a huge collection of stunning pieces of art (Stradivari’s violin, Guy Fawkes’ lantern, the exhibition of posie rings with inside engravings that reportedly inspired J.R.R. Tolkien for writing “The Lord of the Rings”), but also is the first museum that threw wide its doors to the public.

• According to some local legends Magdalen Bridge, which has been in existence for at least a 1000 years, was slung over the Cherwell straight above the so-called ford of oxen that gave the name to the city.
oxford cafe

“The Queen’s Lane Coffee House” is not as outstanding as some other cafés scattered around, but this coffee bar is supposedly the oldest coffee house in England, having been functioning since 1654.

• Notwithstanding that unceasing war of the genders for their rights and duties, which nowadays hopefully acquired an ironically-competitive rather than serious character,
college exeter
it is hard to imagine that in 1878 the Oxford University’s authorities enabled women to attend to lectures and examinations, but only from 1920 they were allowed to get any higher degrees.

• The dress code traditions of Oxford colleges became the talk of the town and the subject of many jokes. So there is an unproven story of a student, who while sitting his examinations asked his examiners for a pint of beer. If you think that the wit was derided and called impudent fellow, you are being wrong then. In fact his plea was satisfied, because the forgotten custom of having a pint of beer during the exams really existed in the regulation of University. But the examiners proved to be non less quick-witted since they remembered another obsolete tradition. When pleased with his sense of humour the student was leaving the hall, he was asked in return to pay 2 nominal shillings as the fine for turning up for examinations without a sword.

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