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Par : Cosette B
Publié : 2 mai 2015
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King’s College ( Cambridge )

King’s College that we visited the last day of our trip represents one of the most famous monuments in Cambridge.

I-Its foundation

It was founded by Henri VI. He laid the first stone of the college’s Old court on 2 april 1441. And the same year he created the Choir of King’s College, to sing on his chapel which remains the principal task of the choir today. Henri VII and Henry VIII modified the plan of the college and it was finished in 1515. Until 186,5 only students from public school Eton college could go study there.

Henri VI

Today in this university there are 397 students of the first cycle, and 239 of the second and third cycle. Salman Rushdie, David Wilcox or again John Maynard Keynes studied there.

Henry VI’s revised plan for the college


Why is King’s College famous ?

The Chapel of King’s College constitutes one of the most beautiful examples of English Gothic architecture, which is characterized by pointed arches, vaulted roofs, large windows and spires. There are three periods in English Gothic architecture : Early English ( 1180-1275 ) is characterised by the pointed arch. Decorated architecture (1275 -1380 ) is characterised by its window tracery. Perpendicular architecture ( 1380-1520 ) is characterised by an emphasis on vertical lines.

II- Its buildings

King’s college chapel is one of the most famous architectural wonders of England.
The Chapel is an perfect example of late Gothic architecture, it features the world’s largest fan vault ceiling twenty-six large stained glass windows(12 on each side of the nef and two bigger ones ont the est and west extremities), twenty-four of which date from the sixteenth century.
The Chapel is actively used as a place of worship and also for some concerts and college events. The famous Chapel choir consists of choral scholars(of the King’s College School). The choir pratically sings every day. It performs concerts that are even broadcasted on the radio. In particular, it has broadcast its Nine Lessons and Carols on the BBC from the Chapel on Christmas Eve for many decades.
The Chapel is thus widely seen as a symbol of Cambridge, as seen in the logo of the city council.


There are serveral others buildings one the college ground like the Gibbs building and the Wilkins building.

The Gibbs building is the second oldest strucuture after the Chapel. When the workers stopped working in 1461, they left an enormous stone block in the Front Court. It would become the founding stone of the Gibb building. Its name comes from the architect James Gibb who gave his name to the building, and its construction started in 1724.

Gibbs Building

Then we have the Wilkins building, it was built in 1823. William Wilkins imagined the front as well as a very big part of the building. The only part that is rarely open to the public is the Art Center. This room contains artwork from local artists. This building also contains the « Hall » in which the students eat.

Wilkins buldings