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The Cathedral Church of Christ, the Virgin Mary and St. Cutbert (in English, The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham), generally known as Durham Cathedral [4 ] is a cathedral located in the city of Durham, in the north of England (United Kingdom). It is the seat of the Bishop of Durham, the fourth bishop in rank in the hierarchy of the Church of England. The current cathedral was started in 1093, replacing the Saxon "white church," and is considered one of the best examples of Norman architecture in Europe. It remains an important religious center today. It is the seat of the Sanctuary of San Cutberto.
It is considered one of the most finished examples of Norman architecture in Europe and in 1986 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Durham Castle. From the top of the 66-meter-high tower - a which is accessed by 325 steps — you can see the castle, the town of Durham and the surrounding area.
The cathedral houses the sanctuary and various treasures related to Cuthbert de Lindisfarne, a 7th century saint, who were taken to Durham by Lindisfarne monks in the 9th century. The head of Saint Osvaldo of Northumbria and the remains of Beda the Venerable also rest on it. In addition, its library contains one of the most complete sets of old books printed in England, the monastic accounts before the Dissolution, and three copies of the Magna Carta.
From 1080 to 1836 the Bishop of Durham enjoyed the powers of a palatine count, having a leadership not only religious but also military and civil to protect the Scottish border. The walls of the cathedral were part of Durham Castle, one of the residences of the Bishop of Durham.
There are daily services of the Church of England in the cathedral, with the Durham Cathedral choir singing daily except Mondays and when the choir is on vacation. The cathedral is a major tourist attraction within the region, attracting 755,000 visitors in 2015.