Christ Church (Oxford)

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Christ Church
(The Dean, Chapter and Students of the Cathedral Church of Christ in Oxford of the Foundation of King Henry the Eighth)
founding 1525 Cardinal College, 1546 King Henry VIII's College
Sponsorship University of Oxford
place Oxford , UKUnited KingdomUnited Kingdom 
dean Martyn Percy
Students 426
postgraduates : 157
Annual budget £ 577.6 million (2019)
University sports The Boat Club
Website Homepage

Christ Church is both one of the nearly 40 colleges in Oxford , England that make up the University of Oxford , as well as the name of the cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Oxford . The cathedral is located on the college campus and also serves as a chapel for the academic college members.

There is also the Christ Church Cathedral School, a private school for choir singers who sing in the world-famous Christ Church Cathedral Choir.

The head of both the cathedral and the college is the Dean of Christ Church. The respective sovereign of the United Kingdom, currently Queen Elizabeth II , acts as a visitor and patron of the college.


Hall of Christ Church

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey used his influence as Lord Chancellor in the 16th century to obtain permission to establish a new college at Oxford. The construction of the large, square courtyard (English: Quadrangle or Quad for short ), which still exists today as the Tom Quad and is the largest quad in Oxford to date, began in 1525 based on the designs of Henry Redman . Several monastery buildings in the parish of St. Frideswide were either completely or partially demolished. The monastery church of St. Frideswide was largely preserved and is directly adjacent to Tom Quad. The walls drawn through by Wolsey (he planned to build a more magnificent house of worship) were later torn open and the former abbey church was consecrated into the cathedral it is to this day - the smallest cathedral in England. The new foundation was given the name Cardinal College, an allusion to both the rank of founder and the outstanding claim, initially measured by the size of the buildings, within the university.

Wolsey fell out of favor with King Henry VIII and was unable to complete his work, which also included the famous dining hall with the largest kitchen in England at the time, which also served as a template for the Great Hall in the Harry Potter films . The same Henry re-established the disbanded college in 1546, first as King Henry VIII's College, later as Christ Church . Nevertheless, the cardinal's hat remained the symbol of the college. The original hat is still kept in the college library today.

When King Charles I sought refuge in Oxford during the English Civil War, he took up residence in Christ Church in the Deanery, which is still the dean's residence to this day. The loyalist rump parliament met in the great hall, which is still used today as the dining room for Christ Church students .

Over the centuries the college has grown both in number of members (from originally 100 to over 500 today) and in physical expansion. Many buildings were added, such as the famous Tom Tower above the main entrance, designed by Sir Christopher Wren , now the tallest tower in Oxford and one of the main tourist attractions; in addition, the neighboring Canterbury College was "incorporated" and is now an integral part of the college as the Canterbury Quad.

Christ Church, as the Royal Foundation, is the college to which the three " royal professors " of theology, the Regius Professor of Divinity , the Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology and the Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History belong. They live in houses in the main courtyard of the college and also act as canons of the cathedral.

In Oxford, Christ Church is mostly abbreviated as "The House" (in German: the house), which is derived from the Latin name of the college: Ædes Christi (The House / Temple of Christ).

Christ Church today

Hall of Christ Church

Nowadays Christ Church is one of the better known colleges in Oxford. With 13 alumni, Christ Church makes up almost half of the UK Prime Ministers who have studied at Oxford or Cambridge.

It is also a welcome destination for tourists, both because of the impressive architecture of the buildings and because of the many little legends that have grown up around the college. The fact that parts of the Harry Potter films were filmed there is just the latest. Lewis Carroll, for example, author of the popular books on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, was the college math tutor under his real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson , and Alice's character is based in large part on the daughter of Alice of then Dean Liddell . Original drawings by Charles Dodgson can still be seen hidden on a wall of the copy room in the Graduate Common Room in the north-west tower of the college.

More recently, various parts of Christ Church have been used as a filming location for the film adaptations of the Harry Potter novels ; The film shows in particular the hall and the staircase in front of it as rooms of Hogwarts .

There are currently just over 500 undergraduate students studying for their first or higher degrees.

Christ Church Time

Tom Tower

The clock of the Tom Tower as well as the bell and the church service times in the cathedral are five minutes behind the official time. This so-called Christ Church Time or Cathedral Time corresponds to the once official local time of the city of Oxford, 1¼ degrees west of Greenwich, which was only replaced in the second half of the 19th century by the nationally valid Railway Time - Greenwich Mean Time - introduced in 1852 has been.

Christ Church Picture Gallery

Christ Church is home to a collection of over 300 Old Master paintings and around 2,000 drawings, making it one of the UK's most important private art collections. Most of the collection comes from a donation from General John Guise, a college alumnus who bequeathed his collection to the college in his will. Additional donations come from WTH Fox-Strangways, Walter Savage Landor , Sir Richard Nosworthy and CR Patterson. The collection includes pictures by Annibale Carracci , Duccio, Fra Angelico , Hugo van der Goes , Giovanni di Paolo , Filippino Lippi , Sano di Pietro , Frans Hals , Salvator Rosa , Tintoretto , Anthony van Dyck , Paolo Veronese as well as drawings and the like. a. by Leonardo da Vinci , Raffael , Michelangelo , Albrecht Dürer and Peter Paul Rubens .

The gallery is located in the so-called Canterbury Quad , designed by the British architect James Wyatt . The modern extension from 1968 was built according to a design by the architects Philipp Powell (* 1921) and Hidalgo Moya (1920–1994).

Web links

Commons : Christ Church, Oxford  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy. Christ Church, accessed June 8, 2020 (UK English).
  2. Annual Report and Financial Statements. Christ Church, July 31, 2019, accessed June 8, 2020 (UK English).
  3. Christ Church Cathedral - Miscellany ( Memento December 6, 2004 in the Internet Archive )
  4. ^ Daily Info, Oxford
  5. Christ Church Picture Gallery , accessed May 2, 2016.
  6. Visiting the Picture Gallery , accessed May 2, 2016.

Coordinates: 51 ° 45 ′ 1 ″  N , 1 ° 15 ′ 22 ″  W.