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The main architectural attraction in York is York Minster, a mammoth medieval cathedral that draws upon both Norman and Gothic styles, due to the fact that it took 250 years to complete. This church is over 800 years old and serves as a treasury of works of stained glass. It is located almost exactly at the center of the city, which is ringed by a 3-mile circuit of walls. Venture outside the city limits and you will discover Byland Abbey, a work of early Gothic architecture and home to the second largest collection of floor tiles in Great Britain. Nearby also lies Kirkham Priory, which is famed for its elaborately carved gatehouse.
There are many other medieval churches within York as well (the Holy Trinity Church, for example); in fact, it is said that no matter where you stand within the city walls, you will be able to see at least one church—and one pub.
Many of the buildings in York remain essentially unchanged from medieval times. One striking example of this is the Shambles, a neighborhood of narrow streets and passages known as snickelways. This area of York, formerly a meat-butchering district, still has a very Middle Age or Renaissance feel to it. It is now home to the Margaret Clitherow shrine as well as numerous specialty gift shops.
A slightly more modern building is the Fairfax House, a well-preserved Georgian Regency mansion that is open as a museum. Most of the furniture and decorations are authentic period pieces, so a visit here makes for a wonderful step back in time. Georgian York