Je viens de découvrir un système très pratique, qui s'intitule "virtual tour of Oxford", dont le site est chem.ox.ac.uk/oxfordtour
et là vous choisissez votre College préféré, ou même n'importe quel monument de la ville.
Donc, bien sûr, on voit la chapelle de Keble.
Grâce à ce procédé, j'ai pu virutellement entrer dans la chapelle, choisir plusieurs endroits et faire un tour de 360° ! gratuitement !
Cette chapelle de college est l'une de mes préférées, et je crois bien les avoir visitées toutes (pas virtuellement !!!)
J'ai donc visité le sous-sol (où curieusement, il y avait une salle de musculation)
mais aussi le toit (sur dérogation, car c'est très dangereux pour y monter)
On a vue soit sur le quad, sur Parks Road, ou sur le terrain d'entraînement de cricket (excusez du peu !).
A l'intérieur, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, dans une petite extention à droite (les Américains ne viennent que pour ça, et puis après ils repartent aussi vite...).
On peut entendre la chorale des étudiants pendant le service religieux, où l'on communie. C'est un moment très austère, mais aussi très émouvant, en raison de la façon solennelle des étudiants d'entrer dans cette chapelle de dimensions très vastes. (c'est tout un débat, même un pugilat intellectuel ... est-elle trop vaste, trop récente - fin XIXe)
Maintenant rêvons :
Il serait possible d'acheter à la loge tous les CD de la chorale, qui sont de grande qualité (en revanche il ne faut pas compter sur le personnel à la loge pour avoir une facture, ni qu'on vous parle autrement que sur un ton rogue).
Une fois entrés dans le College, devant la loge, vous n'avez que DEUX options. Soit le grand panneau "CLOSED TO VISITORS", soit le petit panneau "DUTY PORTER BACK SOON", ce qui veut dire que vous ne pourrez pas acheter les CD.
Armé uniquement de sa mauvaise foi, le gardien peut aussi refuser de s'occuper de vous si vous êtes un ancien élève, manoeuvre qui peut s'avérer intensément contre-productive quand le Collège vous écrira pour un don supplémentaire...
Accès handicapé ? ça c'est purement théorique, vous n'aurez pas accès à des tas d'endroits, essentiels pour comprendre le College (le dining Hall, la bibiothèque, toutes les chambres anciennes, vous n'aurez accès qu'au nouveau building, qui n'a pas précisément l'âme d'Oxford).
Mais consolez-vous : même les anciens élèves n'ont droit à la visite officielle qu'au compte-gouttes, sur inscription, des mois à l'avance... pourtant ça en vaut la peine car le College est exceptionnel à bien des égards, sur le plan intellectuel et architectural.
L'Equipe Qype m'enjoint de supprimer au plus vite cette partie de l'avis, qui est copiée de la lettre destinée aux anciens élèves du college : plus que quelques heures de répit !
Keble Chapel: Brief History
The foundation stone for the Chapel was laid on St Mark's Day (25 April) 1873 and was officially opened on the same day in 1876.
It was funded by William Gibbs from Tyntesfield in Somerset. He was by then an octogenarian who had acquired his wealth through a family business exporting guano from the Pacific islands. Gibbs was a devout Anglican philanthropist who approved the choice of Butterfield as architect and often supported him in disputes with the College.
Keble Chapel treasures: THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
This painting, which hangs in the Side-Chapel, is the original by Holman Hunt painted in 1853 and first hung in the Royal Academy in 1854.
The artist began the picture when he was a little over 21 years old, but it was not until he was 29 that he finished it. One of the reasons for this length of time was his desire to perfect the dawn, and this he did not succeed in doing until he took the picture with him to the Middle East and found the perfect dawn outside Bethlehem. When he was nearly 70 years old, he painted a replica which hangs in St Paul's Cathedral, London. The replica is very much larger than the original, but the colouring and details are not so perfect.
The picture was given to the College by Mrs Thomas Combe, who was a great admirer of the Pre-Raphaelites and bought as many of their pictures as she could. She later gave most of them to the Ashmolean Museum, and this one she presented to Keble through her husband who was head of the University Press at that time.
There are two lights shown in the picture. The lantern is the light of conscience and the light around the head is the light of salvation with the door representing the human soul, which cannot be opened from the outside. There is no handle on the door, and the rusty nails and hinges overgrown with ivy denote that the door has never been opened and that the figure of Christ is asking for permission to enter. The bright light over the figure is the morning star, the dawn of the new day, and the autumn weeds and fallen fruit represent the autumn of life. The writing under the picture, which is rather
Keble College is really pretty. It's hard to see inside, but it's well worth a visit and it's really not far from town, yet it seems to get far fewer tourists than lots of the central colleges. It's got its own style and seems a bit more colourful and warm than some of the more stoney buildings elsewhere. It's a relatively modern college, built in 1870. The main quad you'll come across is the Lidden Quad. Don't walk on the grass or a college warden might show his grumpy side!
The chapel is the main highlight of the college, hosting the famous painting The Light of the World by Holman Hunt, but it's nice just to wander round.
The Hayward and De Breyne buildings lurking at the back are some nasty looking 1960s buildings that contrast with the lovely brickwork of the rest of the college, a bit like Wolfson and Rayne in St Anne's. I'm sure they're much-loved by students, but I'd give them a miss in your tour around.
Hey - did you know that Keble College has a Bed and Breakfast? Me either!! We knew we were going to visit Oxford but didn't want to stay in a regular old hotel room. So after a little searching online I found that there are a couple of colleges that offer B&B service during the summer, when school is out. Everything is done online so it's super easy.
We were booked to stay in the new wing which was boring, bland and downright ugly. I wish we could have stayed in one of the old rooms, but we booked at the last minute and all those rooms were taken.
The ladies in the Porter's Lodge were super helpful and always willing to answer our questions or give directions.
We ate breakfast in the main dining hall which was really a great experience. Sort of Harry Potter-esque, which my teenage daughter throughly enjoyed. The food was fine - your usual English breakfast. Eggs, bangers, beans, broiled tomato, yogurt, fruit, coffee and tea, OJ and various pastries to choose from.
On the whole we had a fine experience though I am not sure we'd actually do it again as it was more expensive than a regular hotel, but I am pretty sure they can charge more just because they offer the Oxford College experience, so to speak. It was worth it just to see my daughters face when we told her where we were staying. She loved it.
This chapel is apparently world famous. On entering, one can appreciate why; the roof is incredibly ornate, whilst the organ at one side has a dominating presence when played. The main attraction is a painting in a side room, to see it you need to walk halfway down the chapel and then through a door on your right. Make sure you see the rest of the college, espcially the Hall whilst you're visiting!
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