October 16, 2015

1964 UNITED KINGDOM (England) - Cambridge

Cambridge: 1. Queens' Mathematical Bridge; 2. King's College Chapel;
3. St. John's College; 4. The ubiquitous bicycle.

Located in East Anglia, on the River Cam, at about 80km north of London, Cambridge is a university city, widely known as the home of the University of Cambridge, founded in 1209 and consistently ranked one of the top five universities in the world. The area was inhabited since the Bronze Age and then in Roman times, but only under Viking rule it became an important trading centre. The first town charters were granted in the 12th century, but city status wasn't conferred until 1951.

The Mathematical Bridge is the popular name of a wooden footbridge which connects across the River Cam the "light side" and the "dark side" of Queens' College (one of the oldest and largest colleges of the University of Cambridge, founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou). The bridge was built in 1749, and rebuilt on two occasions, in 1866 and in 1905, but has kept the same overall design. Although it appears to be an arch, it is composed entirely of straight timbers built to an unusually sophisticated engineering design, hence the name.

Built by a succession of kings between 1446 and 1515, King's College Chapel is considered one of the finest examples of late Perpendicular Gothic English architecture. It has 12 large windows on each side, and larger windows at the east and west ends, considered some of the finest in the world from their era. The wooden screen which separates the nave from the altar is an example of early Renaissance architecture, and was erected by King Henry VIII in celebration of his marriage to Anne Boleyn.

In constitutional terms, St John's College is an charitable corporation established by Charter dated 9 April 1511, but actually was founded by Lady Margaret Beaufort. It is well known for its choir, for its members' participation in a wide variety of inter-collegiate sporting competitions, and for its annual May Ball. The Chapel of the college was constructed by Sir George Gilbert Scott between 1866 and 1869 to replace the smaller, mediaeval chapel which dated back to the 13th century.

As a university town lying on fairly flat ground and with traffic congestion, Cambridge has the highest level of bicycle use in the UK. Not less than 25% of residents travelled to work by bicycle, and 47% of residents travel by bike at least once a week. Where many towns are now choked with cars, Cambridge's faith in the bicycle has made it unique among British cities. In recognition of this, the 3rd stage of the 2014 Tour de France started in the city, adjacent to Parker's Piece.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the definitive series about which I wrote here.

Cambridge - Wikipedia
Mathematical Bridge - Wikipedia
King's College Chapel - Wikipedia
St John's College, Cambridge - Wikipedia

Sender: Andra Ivănescu
Sent from Cambridge (England / United Kingdom), on 23.12.2012 

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