Oxford is called the "City of Dreaming Spires" for a good reason. Church towers and college spires rise tall all across the city. Many of these towers offer a spectacular panoramic view of the city and it surrounding regions.
I. Carfax Tower
Located at the cross road of 4 major roads, Carfax Tower, is the symbolic centre of Oxford. The tower is all that remains of the St Martin church that stood here. The facade of the tower has two "quarterboys" in Roman uniform on either side of a bell. The bell strikes every quarter of the other. It is also possible to climb the tower to get a good view of the city. Centuries old University regulation requires an undergraduate student of the University to "reside" within 6 miles, and a graduate student within 25 miles as the crow files from the Carfax tower! There are, of course, exemptions!
II. St Mary's Church tower
Accessed through the St Mary's Church, a 127-step climb up takes you to the viewing level of the tower which offers an excellent view of the High Street, All Souls College and Radcliffe Square.
III. Saxon Tower of St Michael's
The Saxon Tower of St Michael's at the North Gate is the oldest surviving building in Oxford almost a thousand years old. It used to be part of the old city wall. The adjoining church however was demolished and rebuilt several times. It is open to the public and offers a good view of the city.
IV. Tom Tower
Designed by Christopher Wren, the Tom Tower over the Tom Gate of Christ Church is an iconic tower holding the Great Tom bell which rings 101 times at 9:05pm. The tower can be viewed from St Aldate's and the Tom Quad from within Christ Church. The tower is not accessible to the public.
V. Magdalen Tower
The bell tower of Magdalen College is the tallest building in Oxford and can be seen from even Christ Church meadow. The bell tower consists of 10 bells used for English change ringing, where bells are rung in a series of mathematical patterns. On May morning (May 1st 6am), the choir of Magdalen College sings two hymns - the Hymnus Eucharisticus and "Now Is the Month of Maying" - from the top of the tower. The tower is not accessible to the public.
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