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Durham Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly known as Durham Cathedral and home of the Shrine of St Cuthbert, is a cathedral in the city of Durham, England. It is the seat of the Bishop of Durham, the fourth-ranked bishop in the Church of England hierarchy. The present cathedral was begun in 1093, replacing the Saxon 'White Church', and is regarded as one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Europe. In 1986 the cathedral and Durham Castle were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Durham Cathedral holds the relics of Saint Cuthbert, transported to Durham by Lindisfarne monks in the ninth century, the head of Saint Oswald of Northumbria, and the remains of the Venerable Bede. In addition, its library contains one of the most complete sets of early printed books in England, the pre-Dissolution monastic accounts, and three copies of Magna Carta.

From 1080 until 1836 the Bishop of Durham held the powers of an Earl Palatine, exercising military and civil leadership as well as religious leadership, in order to protect the English Border with Scotland. The cathedral walls formed part of Durham Castle, the chief seat of the Bishop of Durham.

There are daily Church of England services at the cathedral, with the Durham Cathedral Choir singing daily except Mondays and when the choir is on holiday. It is a major tourist attraction and received 694,429 visitors in 2018.

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