York Minster - A medieval Gothic masterpiece (29 May)
Interesting Facts about York Minster
GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE came to England by way of France in the mid-12th century, and every major stage of Gothic architectural development in England is reflected in the gorgeous sacred structure of York Minster, seat of the archbishop of York. Built on the site of several previous churches, the oldest dating from A.D. 627, the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St. Peter in York (as York Minster is officially known) began as a Norman church around 1100. An architectural makeover was begun in 1220, and by 1472, York Minster was northern Europe’s largest medieval cathedral.
Religious tensions in subsequent centuries threatened the cathedral. Its treasures were plundered during the English Reformation, and vestments and altars were removed during Elizabeth I’s reign. Major restorations in the 20th century brought back much of York Minster’s original splendor—highlights include the 53-foot-high (16 m) 13th-century Five Sisters windows in the north transept, John Thornton’s Great East Window from 1408, and England’s widest Gothic nave.
One of the best ways to approach York Minster is from the Shambles, a medieval cobbled street with 14th- and 15th-century timber houses overhanging the narrow, winding lane.