Emmanuel College Cambridge

Emmanuel College Cambridge

New year, new colleges! As some of you already know, I’m expecting, so I’m keen to finish my college challenge before the baby will arrive in May. I really can’t predict how life will be with a child but I will probably be rather housebound at first, so I better make the most of the time the baby is still in my belly and I’m free to do anything I like.

The other day I spent my lunch break at Emmanuel College. I should really get outside the office more often. It’s so refreshing and helps me to stay motivated for work. I’ve felt quite exhausted lately and just didn’t have any drive for work. And work days can be veeery long if you have a lack of motivation.

I actually took most of the images you see last year just when the trees started to blossom. I was so glad when I looked at the date these pictures were taken: early March 2017! Not too long now and all the daffodils and blooms will be out again.

College Profile

Name: Emmanuel College

Founded: 1584, on the site of a Dominican priory, by Sir Walter Mildmay, Chancellor of the Exchequer to Elizabeth I.

Location: quite central on St Andrew’s Street, close to shops but off the tourist track.

Size: Emma, as it’s called in Cambridge slang, is a rather large college with around 500 undergraduate students, 150 graduate students and ca. 145 students admitted each year.

Special features:
The college has a lovely garden with a pond that is home to large numbers of fish and ducks. Emma is one of those colleges that is located in the middle of the city but still has these extensive grounds, just like Christ’s College. There’s even an open-air swimming pool in the Fellows’ Garden!

The chapel is one of three buildings in Cambridge designed by Christopher Wren. He also built the famous Wren Library at Trinity College and Pembroke College Chapel. Regarded as his masterpiece is St Paul’s Cathedral in London which he rebuilt after the Great Fire in 1666.

There is a subway that connects North Court with the main site which I find rather spooky! Apparently it’s the only privately owned subway in the UK.

As the college is away from the masses of tourists it’s very easy to access. You just enter the college through the main entrance on St Andrew’s Street and don’t even have to go through the porter’s lodge. Emma is closed to visitors during the exam period from May to early June.

Since 1998 Emmanuel has been among the top six colleges in the Tompkins Table, which ranks colleges according to end-of-year examination results, so it’s quite an academic college.
Apart from that, Emma is not really ‘known’ for much. It claims to be a friendly college with supportive relationships between students in different years of their courses.

My impression:
I really like that Emma is located so centrally and that visitors can enjoy the gardens as well. How wonderful student life must be when you can spend it sitting on a bench at the pond, watching all the ducks and fish swim by!

There is also a lot to see from an architectural point of view. I really like the interior of the chapel and its perfect symmetry from the outside.


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