The University of Cambridge and the Cambridge Colleges

Cambridge is world renowned for its academic achievements and has profoundly shaped the world we live in. The University of Cambridge (with over 150 departments, faculties, schools and other institutions) is one of the world's oldest universities and leading academic centres, and a self-governed community of scholars. Its reputation for outstanding academic achievement is known world-wide and reflects the intellectual achievement of its students, as well as the world-class original research carried out by the staff of the University and the Colleges. Therefore it will not come as a surprise that many of the local sightseeing focus on this. The main purpose of the Colleges is to provide education and accommodation for their students and if you visit them you can have a real taste of the academic environment of Cambridge. A College is where students live, eat and socialise. It is also the place where students receive small group teaching sessions, known as supervisions. Each College is an independent institution with its own property and income. The teaching of students is shared between the Colleges and University departments.

The University of Cambridge and their 31 Colleges are rich in history, and its old and beautiful buildings, usually arranged around beautiful and intimate courts, attract visitors from all over the world. They dominate the city centre with atmospheric cobbled courts, chapels, gardens and bridges. It is possible to walk round some of these and visit chapels and halls. Some popular sites and buildings include King's College (with its famous Chapel), The Senate House, Trinity College (Great Court and the Wren Library), St. John's College (with the Bridge of Sighs), Queen's College (Old Court and the Mathematical Bridge), the Church of Great St. Mary's (the university church), and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (otherwise known as the Round Church). But Cambridge is no museum piece and dramatic modern architecture sits side by side with the traditional, and lovers of architecture will find much to admire, especially at the several University sites.

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