Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Discover Oxford's History with Incantato Tours

If you are interested in learning about the more than a thousand year-old history of Oxford, the Museum of Oxford is the place to be. It is dedicated to the history of the University, the city and the central role it played in English history. Among the many renowned museums in Oxford, the Ashmolean Museum was established in 1683 and therefore the oldest public museum in the world! 

Oxford's city center is largely shaped by the University's historic buildings. The main research library, the Bodleian Library, dates back to 1427 and has been a copyright library since 1610. That means it is one of the few libraries entitles to receive a copy of every book published in the United Kingdom. It holds over 7 million volumes on a total of 118 miles of shelving! Because the collection is so extensive, much of it is actually stored underground. The oldest part of the library is the Divinity School which has a beautiful vaulted stone ceiling and was originally constructed for the teaching of theology. It has recently become famous as it was used as the Hogwarts sanatorium in the Harry Potter films. The Duke Humfrey's library can also be seen in the movies as the Hogwarts library. 

Besides the fame Oxford has gained from being the most popular filming location in the UK, people from Oxford have also made their mark in history. Familiar names include Robert Boyleto, Oscar Wilde, Rowan Atkinson and Tony Blair. Oxford was also a popular meeting place for J.R.R. Tolkien and his good friend C.S. Lewis.