This morning was a bit breezy and cool as we started our third day in York. We started our day by exploring the beautiful York Minster Cathedral, which was built in a gothic style. This is one of the largest cathedrals in the North part of Europe. It has 128 windows and half of the glass is medieval stained glass. Many of them are lancet, which means they are long with a point at the top. We started on the outside looking at the amazing rose window and the the flying buttresses that were later added to provide more stability to the walls. Due to being a gothic style building, the archways are pointed. The nave of the cathedral is a triforium, which means it had three levels. The side isles of the nave were not exactly straight and had intricate vaulted ceilings. Also we went into the choir area and off the right side of the transept was the entrance to the central tower. Twelve of us took a nice climb of 275 steps, which was on a narrow spiral staircases to the top of the central tower which is the highest point in York. It was a lovely place to take pictures, but was very windy. They also have an undercroft that takes you through the 2000 years history of the site. It first was a Roman Basilica, and on the walls there was a timeline that showed how and when it went through many changes. The undercroft held pieces of the remains of the Roman walls, and had many useful interactive activities the helped to explain many artifacts. The chapter house was much bigger then I anticipated, it was in an octagon shape room with a decorative ceiling.
The second place we explored was the King Richard III experience. Here we learned about the War of the Roses between King Richard III, who was the house of York, and Henry VII, the house of Lancaster. It was called war of the Roses since they both came from royal houses. Richard III was the house of the white rose and Henry VIII was the house of the red rose. After a series of battles, Henry VII of the red rose was victorious and became the first Tudor King and Richard III was the last Plantagenet King of England. They found the remains of King Richard III under a parking lot just within the last few years. It was a great day of new experiences and knowledge. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring, along with the rest of the trip!