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Culture Guide To Norwich

Culture in Norwich It’s bid to be the European Capital of Culture 2008 may not have been a success but Norwich is still a creative and historic city bursting with cultural heritage.

Known to many as the 'City of Churches', a trip to Norwich is not complete without a look round at least some of the 33 medieval flint-built churches, the Roman Catholic Cathedral [map] and the magnificent 900-year-old Norwich Cathedral [map].

It’s at Norwich Cathedral where you can marvel at the 1,200 illustrative stone roof bosses that depict the entire bible story, and the bishop’s throne behind the altar, which is reputed to be 1,000 years old. In addition to a tour of the cathedral you can also make the most of the 7,000 rare books, including some of the earliest printed in England, at the cathedral library.

For more in the way of Norwich’s cultural legacy pay a visit to Norwich Castle [map], which has stood overlooking the city since the 12th century and is one of the finest Norman buildings in Europe. These days it is East Anglia’s principal museum and art gallery, and is packed with treasures and collections of local and national importance.

Also worth a look is Dragon Hall [map], a 15th century merchants trading hall, which is said to be the only one of its kind left in Western Europe. This breathtaking room lay hidden for hundreds of years but you can now take a tour round the timber-framed Great Hall with its outstanding crown post roof and intricately carved dragon.

As well as plenty of old buildings, Norwich is packed to bursting with fantastic museums, which are another example of the city’s diverse culture.

One of the most popular museums is Strangers’ Hall [map] on Charing Cross, which was once home to the mayors and sheriffs of Norwich. The museum now has one of the largest domestic life collections in the country, including a variety of vacuum cleaners!

Also worth a look is the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum [map] at Shirehall, where you can follow the story of Norfolk’s soldiers over three centuries of global conflict, and the City of Norwich Aviation Museum [map], which has aircraft and memorabilia on display.

East Anglia’s capital city is also hot for art with the Norwich Gallery [map] at the Norwich School of Art and Design, which has a changing programme of work by living artists and designers, and the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts [map] at the University of East Anglia, which has collections from the Tate Gallery.

Norwich's vast culture can also be experienced in one of the many theatres the city has to offer, including the Theatre Royal [map], which plays host to touring musicals, dramas, operas and ballets.

You can see great displays of contemporary dance and drama at the Norwich Playhouse [map], while for something completely different head to the Norwich Puppet Theatre [map], one of only two in the country. Set in a former church, the Puppet Theatre provides a base for the Puppet Theatre Company, which creates and presents a programme of performances for children and adults alike.

As you can see, Norwich has a great deal to offer those wanting to add a little culture to their lives. So why wait? Pay a visit to somewhere cultural in this historic city today!

If you want to comment on our choices or recommend somewhere cultural in Norwich, why not use our What You Recommend form to let us know.

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