Durham is a small city in the north east of England.
The county town of County Durham, it is well known for its Norman Cathedral and Castle, and is home to the Durham University, England's third oldest.
Durham is situated 15 miles (25 km) to the south of Newcastle upon Tyne, in North East England.
The River Wear flows through the city, enclosing the centre on three sides to create Durham's "peninsula".
Durham is a hilly city, claiming to be built upon the symbolic seven hills.
Upon the most central and prominent position high above the Wear, the cathedral dominates the skyline.
The steep riverbanks are densely wooded, adding to the picturesque beauty of the city.
Durham won the Large Town award in the 2005 Britain in Bloom awards.
The county town of County Durham, Durham is located in the City of Durham local government district, which extends beyond the city, and has a total population of 87,656, and covers 186.68 square kilometres.
Archeological evidences suggests a history of settlement at Durham since roughly 2000BC.
The present city can clearly be traced back to 995AD, when a group of monks from Lindisfarne chose the strategic high peninsula as a place to settle with the body of Saint Cuthbert, founding a church there.
The present Durham Cathedral was built from 1093, and still contains the remains of St Cuthbert as well as The Venerable Bede.
It is regarded by many as the finest cathedral in the world.
In mediaeval times Durham was a major centre of both political and ecclesiastical power, mainly due to its strategic importance near the border with Scotland.
Every Bishop of Durham from 1071 to 1836 was a Prince Bishop except for the first Norman-appointed bishop Walcher, who was an Earl-Bishop.
Henry VIII curtailed some of the Prince-Bishop's powers, and smashed the shrine of Cuthbert in 1538.
Finally, the public climate surrounding the Great Reform Act of 1832 removed the Bishop's extraordinary powers.
In 1832 the prestigious University of Durham was founded, which has several colleges on the peninsula and on Elvet Hill on the other side of the river.
The 19th century also saw Durham grow as a centre of the coal mining industry.
For a more information about Durham see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham) November 2005
Sarolta and I visited this place during our trip around the British Isles in 1978.
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