Canterbury in Kent is a relatively small city (pop. 45,000) but it is the spiritual capital of England. Its religious history begins with St. Augustine, who was sent from Rome in 597 AD by Pope Gregory to convert the English from paganism. Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury, whose modern successor is the head of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Canterbury is also important because of St. Thomas Becket, another Archbishop of Canterbury, who was murdered in the cathedral in 1170 at the hands of the king's knights. Miracles were reported around Thomas' tomb almost immediately and it soon became one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Europe. Geoffrey Chaucer's famous Canterbury Tales, written in the 14th century, is about a group of pilgrims telling each other stories to pass the time on their pilgrimage from London.
Today, Canterbury is a lively university town with charming medieval streets offering excellent shopping and great restaurants alongside medieval buildings. Canterbury is conveniently located close to London and a Eurostar train station, which whisks passengers under the English Channel to Paris and Brussels. Follow a link below to learn more about Canterbury and plan your visit.
- Canterbury Map Our detailed, interactive city map of Canterbury, showing the location of sacred sites and religious attractions.
- Canterbury Photos Our galleries of hand-selected photos of religious sites in Canterbury.
- Canterbury Books Selected travel guides and other books on Canterbury.
- Canterbury Hotels Search availability, read reviews, browse photos, view a map and book a room in Canterbury at the guaranteed lowest price.
Sacred Sites and Religious Attractions in Canterbury
Canterbury CathedralMajestic architecture and venerable history are what bring most visitors to Canterbury Cathedral, but it is also full of wonderful details - from medieval stained glass to hidden Green Men.
St Augustine's AbbeyThe ruins of St. Augustine's Abbey on the outskirts of Canterbury include the grave of the saint and a substantial crypt. The visitor center displays Early Christian artifacts found at the site.