For nearly 2,000 years York has been considered the capital of the north in England. The city was founded by the Romans in 71 AD. York is a walled city; the walls are estimated to be built around the 13the century. The city is situated on the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire. It is considered to be one of the most impressive surviving medieval fortresses in all of Europe. It is a city full of historic attractions. The city attracts millions of visitors annually, and July and August are by far the busiest with tourist flow.
The Minister in York is the largest Gothic cathedral in England and stands at the city center. The Minister took over 250 years to build and the original construction began in 1220. The cathedral is most famous for its extensive stained glass. Especially the Great eastern Window that was built in 1405, it depicts the beginning and the end of the world. The cathedral is open daily from 7:00AM until 6:00PM and admission is free, but a small donation is requested. To climb and access the tower does cost extra. There are also free guided tours available.
Know that in York, gate means street, and bar means gate. The Monk Bar is the most preserved gate in all of York, and even has a working portcullis. York Castle is a complex of mixed architecture of buildings built from medieval times until the 20th century when the entrance to the York Castle Museum was built. The site of the museum was a former prison. The museum is open daily from 9:30AM until 5:00PM and there is a nominal admission charge. The museum’s collection displays everyday life in England throughout the centuries and is one of the best in England. Located within the Castle is Clifford’s Tower. The city’s medieval walls are a popular walk, and they still contain their principal gateways. To walk the entire walls is about 2 ½ miles.
Every September York has an annual Festival of Food and Drink. The festival originated in 1997, and has over 150,000 visitors during the 10 days of festivities. The aim of the festival is to feature the cuisine of York and North Yorkshire by promoting local food production and establishments. One of the most famous of course is the York ham that is traditionally served with a Madeira Sauce. York ham is generally saltier than most ham, but with a more delicate flavor. Folklore says that the construction of the Minister provided the oak for smoking the original York ham. Robert Burrow Atkinson butchery shop, located on Blossom Street is said to be the birthplace of the ham and the premises are still famous to this day.