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The city of Oxford is located in the South of England, northwest of London. 


Oxford was established by the Saxons in the eighth century. Originally known as “Oxenaforda,” which means “Ford of the Ox,” the city originated with the formation of Saint Frideswide’s nunnery. Now, Saint Frideswide is the patron saint of the city and the university. Carfax Tower and several pubs stand as testament to the city’s early history. Since the twelfth century, however, the University has shaped the city's development.  


Some of Oxford's most famous structures include the fifteenth century Merton Tower and Magdalen Great Tower, the seventeenth century Sheldonian Theatre and Tom Tower, the eighteenth century Radcliffe Camera, and the twentieth century Bridge of Sighs. All are connected to the University. Oxford is sometimes called the “city of dreaming spires”. 


Magdalen Tower, the Botanic Gardens, Magdalen Bridge, and the Isis
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMagdalen Tower, the Botanic Gardens, Magdalen Bridge, and the Isis - Credit: Ozeye

The university brings much tourism and economic investment to the city, but the relationship between “town” and “gown” can be strained due to the university’s seeming dominance.




The River Cherwell and the Isis, an offshoot of the River Thames, run through Oxford. The city boasts botanic gardens and other green spaces such as Christ Church Meadow and Magdalen College's deer park.