Europe Photoblogging, Part 7: Oxford
By Dwip September 14, 2014, 2:27 pm Comments (0) RSS Feed for this post

Why indeed, Oxford gargoyle. Why indeed.

We did this as an AHA group trip the week after Stonehenge and Bath. Trooped up to Oxford for the day by bus, checked out the university, wandered around, failed at punting down rivers. Enjoyment was had by most, most of the time. I talk about it in this somewhat mistitled post.

This is Christ Church, Oxford, in a fairly representative view of what the rest of Oxford looks like. Giant central quad, ornate buildings, and all that. It’s kind of a model. In 2006-2007 I used to pick Sarah up from this same sort of arrangement at Yale.

Only, you know. Here there’s a whole city full of things like this.

This is a fan vault within a stairway in Christ Church. We’ll see some more of these, but they’re really spectacular in that spectacular Gothic style of the late middle ages.

Again, this place went all in on the Gothic adornments. I’m not wholly sure who these guys are supposed to be, but here they are on this random wall.

This is Christ Church Cathedral. Nice place. Love the fan vaults as always. In typical local cathedral style, it’s stuffed full of random monuments and plaques and things we’ll get to in a moment.

This guy is the late John de Nowers, who according to the info plaque died in 1386 and was apparently 6’6″ tall, making him the NBA superstar of the middle ages. Other than that, I have no idea who he was or what he did.

I just thought this floor in the cathedral was really cool.

This is the Divinity School at Oxford. Again, a spectacular bit of Gothic vaulting and decor in here. At the joints of the vault ribs, you can see a bunch of bossed initials. If memory serves, they’re supposed to be from the guys who built the place.

This is what the view from an arrow slit looks like. They’re narrow, and it’s damned hard to see much of anything from them. They do at the least let in some light, which was rather important in the tower we were in.

These are shawabtis from the Ashmolean Museum. These guys were part of Egyptian funerary custom – you put them in your grave, and they’d act as servants for you in the afterlife.

I confess that I didn’t really get a whole lot out of the Ashmolean after spending every day in the British Museum. It just seemed small and rather dated, which not a whole lot of anything I hadn’t seen before in the much larger British Museum. Or perhaps I just didn’t get to the right parts and am being unfair.

If you read the attached blog post, there’s a story in there about everyone punting down the river in which Laura ran everyone into the bank and some bushes. This is the bank and the bushes. Our hilarity was total.

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