Cambridge Subway Map

Cambridge Subway Map

Cambridge is an architect’s dream it packs some of the most breathtaking examples of English architecture into less than 3 square kilometers. It’s most exciting to behold during the university’s three eight-week terms: Michaelmas (Oct.-Dec.), Lent (Jan.-Mar.), and Easter (Apr.-June). If you only have time for a few colleges, Trinity, King’s, St. John’s, Queens’, and Christ’s should top your list. Most of the colleges are open daily from 9am to 5:30pm, but hours can often vary; it’s best to call ahead. A few are closed to sightseers during the Easter term, and virtually all are closed during exams (mid-May to mid-June).

TRINITY COLLEGE. Founded in 1546 by Henry VIII, the college is legendary for its incredible wealth. Trinity is now Britain’s third largest landowner, behind Queen Elizabeth II and the Church of England; it is said that you can walk from Cambridge to Oxford without stepping off Trinity land. Illustrious alumni of the college include: Byron, Nabokov, Tennyson, and Wittgenstein. Sir Isaac Newton, who lived in E-entry for 30 years, originally measured the speed of sound here by stamping his foot in the cloister along the north side of the Great Court the largest courtyard in Cambridge. The college also houses the stunning Wren Library, home to A.A. Milne’s handwritten manuscript of Winnie the Pooh and Newton’s own copies of thePrincipia. (Trinity St. s338 400. Chapel and courtyard open daily 10am-5pm. Wren Library open M-F noon-2pm. Easter-Oct £2, concessions £1. Nov.-Easterfree.)

KING’S COLLEGE. E.M. Forster’s alma mater dominates King’s Parade St. from street level to skyline. The college was founded by Henry VI in 1441 as a partner to Eton, and until 1861 it did not accept students from any other school. Surprisingly, King’s is now the most socially liberal of the Cambridge colleges, each year drawing the most students from state schools. As a result, Cambridge’s best-known college is also its least traditional there are no formal dinners or white-tie balls, and its interior corridors are coated with lurid graffiti. Little of this is noticeable to visitors who descend in droves to King’s College Chapel, a spectacular Gothic monument. Rubens’s magnificent Adoration of the Magi hangs behind the altar. (On King’s Parade. v331 100. Open M-Sa 9:30am-4:30pm, Su 10am-5pm. Tours arranged through the tourist office. £3.50, students £2.50. Under-12 free.)

ST. JOHN’S COLLEGE. Established in 1511 by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VIII, St. John’s is one of the seven colleges founded by women. A copy of Venice’s Bridge of Sighs connects the older part of the college to the neo-Gothic extravagance of New Court. The School of Pythagoras, a 12th-century pile of wood and stone, supposedly the oldest complete building in Cambridge, hides in St. John’s Gardens. The college also boasts the longest room in the city the Fellows’ Room in Second Court spans 28m and was the site of some D-Day planning. (St. John’s St. a 338 600. Open M-F 10am-5:30pm, Sa-Su 9:30am-5:30pm. £2, students £1.20.)

QUEENS’ COLLEGE. Queens’ has the only unaltered Tudor courtyard in Cambridge. The Mathematical Bridge, despite rumors to the contrary, has always been supported by screws and bolts, not just mathematical principle. (Silver St. -a 335 511. Open Mar.-Oct daily 10am-4:30pm. Closed during exams. £1.)

CHRIST’S COLLEGE. Founded as God’s house in 1448, Christ’s has won fame for gorgeous gardens and its association with John Milton. Charles Darwin studied at Christ’s before dealing a blow to its religious origins. (St Andrews St 334 900. Gardens open in summer M-F 9:30am-noon; term-time M-F 9am-4:30pm. Free.)

FITZWILLIAM MUSEUM. A welcome break from academia, the Fltzwilliam Museum fills an immense Neoclassical building, constructed in 1875 to house Viscount Fitzwilliam’s collection. An eclectic mix of Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, and Japanese treasures surrounds a muster of 16th-century German armor downstairs. Upstairs, five galleries feature works by Brueghel, Monet, and Rubens, including a room with books and woodcuttings by William Blake. (Trumpington St s332 900. Open Tu-Sa 10am-5pm, Su 2:15-5pm. Suggested donation £3. Tours Su 2:45pm. £3.)

KETTLE’S YARD. This museum used to be the home of Tate curator Jim Ede; now visitors wander through the house and admire his early 20th-century collection. The gallery rotates exhibits. (s352 124. House open Apr.-Sept. Su and Tu-Sa 1:30-4:30pm; Oct-Mar. Su and Tu-Sa 2-4pm. Gallery open Su and Tu-Sa ll:30am-5pm. Free.)

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