Last Saturday I went to Canterbury. The last time I had visited this beautiful city was in 1981, 33 years ago. Whilst visiting the sights, engaging in good conversation, taking pictures and shopping I realized that if it takes me the same time to visit this place again I will be nearly 90…
It was founded in 597. That was the year King Ethelbert, an Anglo Saxon King, was baptized by St. Augustine, the cathedral's first archbishop who was sent by the Pope as a missionary.
When England was conquered by William of Normandy in 1066, bigger changes took place, as the Church gradually, over the next 500 years, came under the papacy’s greater influence.
Thomas Becket could be considered the second founder of Christian Canterbury. He was archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170 by followers of King Henry II with whom he had engaged in many conflicts over the rights and privileges of the Church. Soon after his death he was canonized and since then was venerated as saint by both the Catholic and Anglican Churches.
The site of his martyrdom is a much visited corner in the Cathedral.
Geoffrey Chaucer´s The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories by the pilgrims on their way to the shrine of St Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. Chaucer uses the tales and the descriptions of its characters to criticize English society of the time.