Marcus Roberts

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A visit to Canterbury is always well worth the effort and worth a special visit. The city is of exceptional interest, with its rich history, and buildings of national importance - its Cathedral and the ruins of St Augustine's Priory, the Castle and city walls, and a large number of surviving medieval and post medieval buildings in the city centre.

Added to this there is a rich Jewish history to be discovered in Canterbury both from the medieval and modern period. The sites of the medieval Jews are readily traceable and there are strong historical associations with more modern buildings such as the County Hotel

A very vivid impression of the 18th and 19th century Jewish community can also be gained especially as the 18th century cemetery and the 19th century synagogue are preserved. The synagogue is constructed in a unique and striking Egyptian style and has a mikveh close by.

A very full day can be passed happily and profitably. While the city is busy with tourists in the season much of the city centre is pedestrianised and traffic free.

It is recommended to start the tour in the very center of the city at the County Hotel on the site of the house of Jacob the Jew and the medieval synagogue. The hotel is also good for refreshments, teas and its excellent facilities.

The main sites can be visited in around an hour if the cemetery is excluded and one is short of time, or two hours if the cemetery is included. The cemetery is a brisk 10-15 minute walk from the County Hotel. However a more detailed tour will take a morning - especially if one can organise a viewing inside the synagogue and is interested in deciphering Jewish tombstones. An additional visit to sites of Jewish and general interest at the Castle and Cathedral and elsewhere will readily fill the remainder of anyone's day.

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Places of interest

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