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The most famous Cambridge College, known for its beautiful Chapel

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Main Entrance & Clock
King's Chapel
Chapel Museum
View from the Backs
View of the Front Court
At first, when King Henry VI founded this college in 1441, it was intended to be a modest place. However, four years later in 1445, the King’s ambitions had grown into somewhat larger notions of one of the most splendid displays of royal patronage in the country. It was to be the college for boys graduating from Eton, which Henry also founded – and it still the school of the royals today. In fact, it was not until 1865 some students who were not from Eton were admitted to King’s College. However, when funding became needed for the Wars of the Roses, funding for these grand notions quickly dried up. Yet King’s College is still one of the most famous and beautiful colleges of Cambridge today.

The King's College of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas
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College Motto

Truth and Usefulness

The clock on the main entrance to King's College

Did You Know?

Time Magazine published a top 100 list of the most influential and important people of the 20th century. King's College was the only European institution that could claim two people in this list: Alan Turing and John Maynard Keynes, both had been students and fellows at the college.

The front courtyard
Its Chapel is of course iconic of Cambridge, and renowned for its beautiful music. This is due to its world-famous Chapel choir, made up of scholars and boys from the nearby King's College School. The Chapel is considered by many to be one of the most magnificent examples of late medieval architecture in Britain. It is 289 feet in length and 94 feet in height. It contains the largest fan vault in the world, with the masonry bursting out from the pillars across the roof like a flower in full bloom. The fan vaulting was completed in only 3 years from 1512-1515 by master mason John Wastell. The Chapel also includes 12 large windows on each side of the building and one at the east and west ends. These windows are some of the finest of their era in the world, and the stain glass pictures portrayed within, provide a stunning tapestry of colour and vivid imagery.

The famous view of King's Chapel from the Backs

Inside the Chapel, completed in 1511

The Chapel fan vaulted ceiling

Did You Know?

In King's Chapel you will find the initials H&A on the ornate oak screen. These represent King Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn, who he married in 1533.

See if you can find the initials H&A on the oak screen

The painting The Adoration of the Magi by Rubens was given to the college in 1961. It is claimed that it was painted in only 8 days in 1634 and Rubens own baby son was the model for baby Jesus

The stained glass windows in the Chapel date back to the 16th century. They were removed during WW2 for safekeeping!

The Chapel contains a museum showing the design and building of the Chapel

The Dining Hall at King's College
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A trip to Cambridge is not complete without a visit to King's College, its opulent design, wonderful craftsmanship and world renown Chapel, make it one of the highlights of any visit to the city.
Visitor Information
King's College Chapel is open on Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 3.30pm and 1.15pm to 2.15pm Sundays. Entry costs around £5. Tel: 01223 331 212

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