Chester

Trip Start Feb 15, 2008
1
33
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Trip End May 31, 2008


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chester was a former Roman port city founded in AD 79 and situated on the River Dee. The city boarders Wales and the walls which surround it are said to be the most complete in the UK. However this city has a certain ugliness about it and this is a direct result of a housing shortage in the area during the 1950s and 60s. During this period many of the green spaces surrounding the city became the site of far from aesthetic residential and commercial developments and a by-pass road. Though fortunately in 1969 a decision was made to preserve the remaining historic buildings of which the majority are genuine 15th Century Tudor.

I set off to have a look around Chester. The city has an old Roman amphitheatre and when I walked up to see it there was a Roman Centurion taking a group of school kids for a guided tour and I managed to get a photo. Also of interest is a replica Roman garden which was built in the 1950s to provide a place to display a number of stone artefacts which were discovered in the surrounding area. Whilst looking at the garden I heard some people talking in Spanish so asked them to take a pic of me and had a bit of a chat. They were from Barcelona so I was able to share a bit about my travels to their city.

The wall that surrounded the old city is now a public walkway and the round trip can be completed in about an hour. There are also information inscriptions providing a bit of history and the high position offers some good views of the city and surrounding area.

The Chester Cathedral stands on the site of a 10th century Saxon church. In 1092 it became a Benedictine Abbey, and a new church in the Norman style was built, parts of which can still be seen. The church was rebuilt from 1250 onwards and the process took about 250 years resulting in the building we see today. Following the dissolution of monasteries by Henry VIII, the Abby was closed in 1540 but the following year it became the Cathedral of Chester and has since served the area. I then continued on by train to my next stop, the Welsh seaside town on Conwy.
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