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York Minster

The city’s emblem is known for its superb stained-glass windows, underground treasure chambers and tall tower with spectacular views.

York Minster is a Gothic masterpiece and among the largest and most impressive cathedrals in Europe. Climb the Minster’s historic tower, tour its underground chambers and discover 2,000 years of history. The current structure dates back to the 12th century and features medieval stained-glass windows. 

When you arrive at York Minster, wonder at its sheer size and elegance. The cathedral’s Gothic façade appears golden and its many windows sparkle in the sunlight. Enter the church and gaze up at its grand arches, pillars and intricate ceiling design. 

Spend hours admiring the elaborate details of the stained-glass Great East Window. The restoration project has taken many years to complete, due to the complexity and quantity of the windows. Every colorful pane of glass has its own story to tell about religious figures and themes.

York Minster’s tower is the highest point in the city. Note the fearsome gargoyles jutting out from the walls as you ascend the 275 steps. When you reach the summit, enjoy unobstructed views of the historic city, its quaint alleyways, medieval landmarks and surrounding Yorkshire countryside. 

The cathedral’s guided tours will introduce you to the tower as well as the church’s hidden treasures. Discover Chinese silks, Roman tiles and ancient books among other historic gems. Meander through the underground chambers of the cathedral to learn about the site’s 2,000-year past. See artifacts that once belonged to the Romans, Normans and other dynasties.

The church is open daily, with extended opening hours on Sundays. Trips to the tower may be restricted during bad weather in the winter months. There is a combined admission fee for the church and the tower, with discounts for seniors and kids. Guided tours are included with admission.

York Minster is located just to the east of the River Ouse and several main attractions, such as the Yorkshire Museum, St. Mary’s Abbey and the Museum Gardens. There are bus stops dotted around the neighboring Dean’s Parks, which is a pleasant picnic area.


Guide to Exploring York Minster


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