198,000 inhabitants. York is without a doubt one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Europe. Surrounded by ramparts punctuated by majestic gates, its city centre is brimming with charm and old stones. The Romans called it Eboracum and crowned Constantine here, the only sacred emperor outside Rome. Later, the Saxons knew it as Eoforwick and the Vikings even made it the seat of their kingdom, which they named Jorvik. In later years it has remained the historic capital of the North and Yorkshire. Here, all architectural styles are mixed, with a predominance of medieval in the Minster Quarter and many Georgian houses south of the River Ouse, around Micklegate. Here and there, beautiful homes proudly display their Victorian facades and history oozes from every wall. Yet York is far from being an open-air museum. It has combined its heritage and activities so that the streets are full of life and countless traditional pubs provide the evening atmosphere. The local star is its majestic cathedral, the largest of the Gothic period in northern Europe. All around, lively winding pedestrian streets offer shops and good addresses. The Shambles is even considered the oldest shopping street on the continent, with records dating back to 1086. If you look up from time to time, you will see curious cat statuettes everywhere. There are about twenty of them in the walls. No one really knows where they come from, but it is said that they may scare away pigeons, or bring good luck... unless it's to ward off ghosts? In 2002, the International Ghost Research Foundation declared York the most haunted place in Europe! That's all there is to it. But don't worry, the living are very welcoming, proud of their heritage and their past. Here, people take the time to live, to enjoy the culture, the gastronomy, the excellent shopping and the fabulous nature of the surroundings.

The must-see places in York

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