An unexpected visit to Worcester Cathedral
Worcester is not too far from home in UK. However, it has never been in my to go list as it doesn’t sound that interesting (apologies if you’re from Worcester!?). The only thing I know about it, is that it’s the home of the famous Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, and the city is ancient, because it has a cathedral. Also, it has a University which you’ll have to scroll near down to the bottom of the league table before you find it.
I was returning back from the North last year and was going to stop by Bristol for dinner. I had a few hours to spare before I was due in Bristol, and Worcester seemed like a good choice. It was just by the M5 motorway – that’s highway to the rest of the world, and no detour was required.
Cathedrals are always a great place to visit when you don’t know what to do in a town. First, it’s indoors, which is great when the weather is unstable, you’ll get quite a lot of that in UK. Second, it’s free most of the time, perfect for cheapskates like me ?. And third, the most important thing. Traditionally, life and community evolved around churches and cathedrals. They are beautiful structures and full of history. It doesn’t matter whether its a big cathedral or small parish church. You will always find that it has made some sort of contribution to history and shaped the country’s development, such as Lincoln Cathedral and Leceister Cathdral.
伍斯特在英國中部，離開我老家不算太遠。 一直以來我都覺得它是一個比較沉悶，沒什麼好看的地方，所以從來都未有想過去。 去年在英國北上後回家， 路經伍斯特於是決定順便去看一看。
伍斯特城最有名是伍斯特座堂。 這座座堂建了超過四個世紀才完成， 建築風格包括11世紀的典型英式教堂至14世紀哥德式風格。 它現在已有超過1000年歷史。
我覺得教堂是一處很好逛的地方。 尤其在英國天氣不穩定時，在室內就最適合不過。 英國一般的教堂都不用付入場費，要省錢就最好 。 但最主要是，教堂以前是一個市鎮的中心點，充滿地方歷史和文化。 從大座堂至教區禮拜堂， 都能找到它對地歷史的貢獻和足跡。
Worcester Cathedral was first built in 1084. Like many cathedrals, it took many years to complete, this was completed in 1504. Having being built over four centuries, the architectural style of the cathedral consist of Norman (11th to 12th century) to Perpendicular Gothic (14th century) style.
The stunning nave was built in an Early English gothic style in the 13th century, it took over a hundred years to complete. Another prove that good things are certainly worth waiting for. We are so fortunate to be around 800 years later to see it.
A chapter house is a place where meetings are held. The one at Worcester Cathedral is important because it was the first round chapter house in England. Its was built around the 12th century, and a significant piece of architecture from the medieval days. Many subsequent chapter houses in the country based their architecture on this. The chapter house at Worcester Cathedral was my favourite place here because I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s solemn but not as a formal as the main part of the cathedral, and thus more relaxing.
KING JOHN’S TOMB
The most famous person to be buried at Worcester Cathedral is John, King of England. He’s the King who was forced by the rebel barons to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. The Magna Carta, if you are not aware, is one of the most important document in the world. It established the principle that no man should be above the law. It forms the basis of subsequent treaties between English Kings and his subject, and is the foundation of the British constitution and that of many other countries around the world.
John’s tomb occupies a central position inside the cathedral facing the high altar. One big difference that I notice between Europe and Asia is that in Asia, a lot of important artefacts are often cordoned off at tourist locations. In Europe, I get the feeling that visitors respect history and culture more. Objects on display are viewed and appreciated by visitors. People do not chip off a bit to take home as a memorabilia or tag their name on it so they can post a “I’ve been here” photo on Instagram. It is this mutual respect that makes visiting Europe that much more pleasant.
Whilst it was never on my list, I can now claim another tick off my list of places to go. An unexpected visit to Worcester Catherdral made me appreciate more of how many great architecture and historical learnings we have at our fingertips. Next time, if there’s a place that you didn’t think is worth visiting, just go. You could be surprised like I was.