Did you know that Oxford has the second oldest University in the world? Or that the Narnia door is hidden within our streets? Well, our Oxford hotel hopes to enlighten you with these 7 fascinating facts about the enchanting city!
The door to Narnia is here
Seek out the famous door that inspired CS Lewis’ ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ along St Mary’s passage. Golden fawns overlook the magnificent lion which is carefully carved into the wooden door. The famous streetlight is also only a couple of doors down!
Oxford University is the world’s second oldest University
The University is about 922 years old, making it the second oldest University in the world. It is pipped to the (oldest) post by the University of Bologna, which is around 930 years old. However, our University is much more famous around the world… so there.
Oxford has the largest bookshop in the world
Built in 1879, Blackwells Bookshop is the biggest bookshop in the world. There are three entire miles of shelving in the basement, holding 150,000 books. That’s a lot of reading! Perfect to feed your inner bookworm.
The city wasn’t bombed in World War II
It’s one of the best-preserved cities in the UK for a reason! Some historians believe that Hitler saved the city because he wanted to make it the new English capital after conquering it. Strangely, Oxford actually was the capital of England during the English Civil War.
Oxford has more published authors per square mile than anywhere else in the world
Being such a beautiful place, it isn’t surprising that Oxford is an inspirational haven for creativity. JRR Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings), Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) and CS Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) are just some of the famous names tied to the city.
The Ashmoleon Museum was Britain’s first public museum
One of four Oxford University museums, this exhibition of art and archaeology opened to the public in 1683. Early artefacts included Guy Fawkes’ lantern, Jacob’s Coat of Many Colours and a badly preserved dodo. What a selection!
Oxford’s Botanic Garden is one of the oldest of its kind
Founded in 1621, Oxford’s Botanic Garden is the oldest of its kind in Britain and one of the oldest in the world. The garden was founded as a physic garden for medicinal research but has grown to house 5,000 different plant species! Pretty impressive.
Hopefully these interesting facts compel you to explore the curious city of Oxford. Now we’re open, we look forward to welcoming you back to Vanbrugh House Hotel for your staycation!