An ancient county town, Durham lies above the loop or River Wear. Durham offers its beholders a sight that you won't forget. The picturesque setting features a cathedral and castle at the heart of Durham. Durham was first fortified during the Roman Era. The medieval city has served as a bulwark from the Scots for so many centuries. The Norman Cathedral has been a popular pilgrimage site to the tomb of St. Cuthbert. Later, Durham's coal mining delivered the town to its industrial age. Today, the city is a favorite destination for nearby regions such as the Pennines all the way to the North Sea coast. Some of the popular attractions and tourist destinations are as follows.
The Durham Cathedral and the Treasury Museum both sit in the Chapter Office. These two are known as the top attractions of the city of Durham. Durham Cathedral is a sight to behold from any point that you look at it. Even if you are at the narrow streets of the Old City, or sitting across Palace Green, or even when you are over Prebend's Bridge along the banks of the River Wear, the Durham Cathedral is an awe-inspiring view that will surely attract any tourist. The Cathedral is recognized as one of the greatest Anglo-Norman churches in history. It took only a short time plus a number of renovations, to complete the construction of Durham Cathedral. It was in 1093 and 1133 that the north and south transepts, the nave, and the choir's four west bays were built. From the years 1217 to 1222, the two west towers of Durham Castle were constructed. The Galilee Chapel was an addition to the west end of the Durham Cathedral in 1175. Sometime between 1242 and 1280, the east end was added with the Chapel of the Nine Altars. It had replaced the old apse. Lastly, the central tower of the Cathedral was built in 1490. The Galilee Chapel that was added in the 12th century, specifically in 1175, was built on to the west facade. It can be found at the right side of the Durham Cathedral entrance. The Galilee Chapel features magnificent columns and arches. It is recognized as a Late Romanesque-Norman masterpiece, with hints of Moorish architecture from the Mediterranean due to the explorations of the Normans. The Galilee Chapel also features 12th century paintings that are believed to portray St. Cuthbert on the east wall, and St. Oswald on the south wall. Its Chapel is also where the tomb of the monk of Jarrow, Venerable Bede, can be found. The monk died in the year 735. He was the author of the "Ecclesiastical History of the English People". His remains were believed to have been stolen from Jarrow and brought to the Galilee Chapel to be added to Durham's own collection of relics. The Durham Castle in Palace Green is a magnificent fortress built by the Earl of Northumberland. Durham Castle was constructed in the year 1072. The Castle's main features include the 1080 Norman Chapel, the huge 1300 dining hall, the 1499 kitchen with pantry and fireplace, and the apartments of the bishops during that time. Durham Castle has become a part of Durham's University College since 1832.
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