Christ Church College at Oxford, founded in 1546, has a rich literary history. The majestic front quad and fountain recall scenes from Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. The movie adaptation of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass was filmed on this campus too.
Christ Church was also the model for Hogwarts' dining hall in Harry Potter, making this Oxford college the most popular tourist destination. Visits are limited to afternoons and there is an admission charge.
According to Oxford legend, the fireplace andirons inspired the trippy neck extending scene in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll was a lecturer of mathematics at Christ Church, which was his alma mater too.
The entrance to the dining hall (above) is nearly as grand as the adjacent cathedral. Christ Church is the only Oxford college with a cathedral, instead of a smaller chapel, and visitors can attend Evensong without paying admission. The colleges of Oxford University were originally founded as religious institutions.
On a rare clear day, the limestone glows as gold as the setting sun. Although Christ Church is one of the wealthiest colleges, it ran out of funding to complete the cloisters so the front quad is open to the rain. The arches on the walls show where the covered cloister would have been attached had their patron Cardinal Wolsey not lost favor with King Henry VIII.
Despite its posh history, the rainbow flag in back quad shows that the student body is open-minded now.
The back entrance leads to...
Merton Street, which has hardly changed since medieval times. You can see how living in Oxford inspired me to write a novel about an American at a British school. This is my magical home away from home.