The most beautiful buildings in Oxford
Oxford is a city steeped in culture and history, from its famous university, to the Botanical Gardens and the stunning Bodleian Library. The city centre is packed full of stunning architecture, with museums, churches and centuries-old university buildings all contributing to the landscape. There are many amazing places to visit, but if you want to find out more about just a few of the most beautiful buildings in Oxford, see our list below.
Built in the early 1700s, the iconic Radcliffe Camera forms part of the Bodleian Library, and is the oldest example of a circular library in the country. Designed in a Neo-Classical style by architect James Gibbs, it was originally used to house books on the sciences, but now contains volumes on English, history and theology.
Christ Church College
It’s hard to choose a favourite amongst Oxford’s iconic college buildings, but Christ Church really stands out. It’s inspired many famous campuses, including a stint as a set for the Harry Potter films, and the college itself contains its own picture gallery with paintings by some of the Old Masters. Famous architectural highlights include the Tom Quad (the largest quadrangle in Oxford), and the Tom Tower, designed by Sir Christopher Wren.
The Sheldonian Theatre
Another Sir Christopher Wren design, this Grade I building in Oxford’s city centre acts as the University of Oxford’s Ceremonial Hall. The building features an unusual eight-sided dome in the centre of the roof which offers spectacular views over the city. The building is also used for music recitals, lectures, conferences and graduation ceremonies.
New Biochemistry Building
Opened in 2008, the University’s new biochemistry building really stands out against the rest of the historic architecture. Its contemporary design is predominantly made from glass and steel, with bright glass panels which stick out as ‘fins’ on the exterior. The building itself also houses a large amount of contemporary art, reflecting its bold appearance.
The Grand Cafe
The Grand Cafe could be equally at home on the streets of Paris, with its gilded exterior and elegant iron balcony above. The Grade II listed building stands on the site England’s first coffee house, which dates all the way back to 1652 according to the diary of Samuel Pepys. The building has gold leaf, marble pillars and a mirrored interior to add to the opulence.
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