Thursday, May 28, 2009

Oxford Day 12

Today was all about Christ Church College and watching The Eights races.
Christ Church College is one of the largest and oldest Colleges at Oxford and one of the most beautiful. Supposedly Christ Church was an inspiration for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for J.K. Rowling as she was writing the Harry Potter novels. They filmed scenes for the first 2 films at Christ Church and many of the locations are open to guests. I had my picture taken on the stairs leading into the Dining Hall which was the location used in the first film as the students arrive and congregate on the stairs before they go into the hall to be sorted into their houses by the sorting hat (see pic above). The Dining Hall was also used in the films and is instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with the movies (see pic).
Other areas we visited included Christ Church Cathedral (only college with their own cathedral), the quad and the Cloisters. When Lewis Carroll was writing his famous story Alice in Wonderland for Alice Liddell many of the characters and locations are based on Christ Church (where Alice's father was Dean of the College). In fact there are signs of Alice everywhere, many are hidden and fun to search for.
After Christ Church we walked through the meadows to the Thames and Cherwell Rivers to watch The Eights. The Eights take place over 4 days every spring and are rowing competitions between the Colleges. Many of the rowers were in costume and the entire event is a party and tons of fun. We are going back tomorrow to watch more races before our closing reception and dinner. For more pictures and video of the races see my Facebook page.

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