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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hogwarts Great Hall 

At the end of June, the Man Booker International Prize 2007 was formally awarded to Chinua Achebe during a presentation ceremony that included over 200 guests enjoying Smoked Salmon Bavarois, English Lamb and Summer Pudding, in the Great Hall at Christ Church College, Oxford, England. This hall once housed Parliament, during the English Civil War when King Charles I took residence at Christ Church. I wonder if the guests were aware that their surroundings are better known to millions of Harry Potter fans as the great banqueting hall at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The staircase of the Great hall in Christ Church College at Oxford used in the Harry Potter films for the interior of Hogwarts, taken by Michelle Dennis
Christ Church is Oxford University's largest College and was founded in 1524. Visitors are made welcome, but being a working academic and religious institution some areas may be inaccessible; the hall for example, can be closed to visitors between 12pm and 2pm. The visitor entrance is through the large gate facing Christ Church Meadow, a remarkable oasis of calm, much loved by one Lewis Carroll, who famously created another magical world 'through the looking glass'.

There is much to see at Christ Church besides the Great Hall, the college houses an important collection of Old Master paintings and drawings, so allow plenty of time to browse.

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