Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Oxford - UK

The Sheldonian Theatre, built between 1664 and 1668, was Christopher Wren's first design and one of Oxford's most architecturally important buildings. It isn't actually a theatre at all. Its original purpose was as a secular venue for University ceremonies, such as graduations and matriculations. It is still used for that purpose but is also used for concerts of serious music.
The fa├žade of the Sheldonian that faces Broad Street and fascinates most visitors is actually the back of the building. It was designed to face a courtyard with more important University buildings including the Bodleian Library and the chapel of Exeter College. The twelve grotesque stone heads on pillars (see insets above) are sometimes identified as the Twelve Caesars or the Twelve Apostles, but they are simply decorative. They were replaced in the 1970s after pollution destroyed the originals. When not in use for University functions, or concerts, the Sheldonian is open to the public Monday to Saturday from 10a.m. to 12:30p.m. and 2p.m. to 4:30p.m. (3:30p.m. closing, November to February). Admission is £2 (£1 for seniors).

Also, Inspector Morse- a British televison series was filmed here. I also met Sir Mekere Morauta - former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea here. He and his wife were very kind to me. They recognised my PNG features and so came up and spoke to me. I was over the moon because I was kissed. British Prime Minister would never kiss or say hi to a grassroot woman. I think most Papua New Guineans are very friendly and are very kind - (but... I think).

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