With its elaborate Perpendicular Gothic façade and exquisite stained glass windows, the King's College Chapel is worthy of the accolades that are ravished upon it. Often touted as the most impressive work of medieval architecture and Gothic design in Britain, it now ranks as the most visited attraction in Cambridge. Founded by Henry VI in 1441, who laid the foundation stone himself, the chapel was the design of royal architect Reginald of Ely and took almost 75 years to be completed, continuing through the reigns of Edward IV, Richard II, Henry VII and Henry VIII.
Visitors to the chapel are unlikely to be disappointed – the ornate interiors are truly show-stopping, with highlights including the magnificent fan vaulted ceilings, the elaborate Tudor motifs and screens, and Rubens' Adoration of the Magi, which overlooks the high altar. Also of significance are the remarkably preserved 16th-century stained glass windows and the gilded Harrison & Harrison organ, celebrated for its rich and distinctive sound.
As well as being the architectural star of Cambridge University’s prestigious King’s College, the King’s College chapel is also a working chapel, used for daily services and recitals by the acclaimed King’s College Choir. The famous ‘evensong’ (evening choral performances), performed by the resident choir, have become hugely popular among both locals and visitors. The most notable service is the Festival of the Nine Lessons, the carol service that has been held on Christmas Eve since 1918 and huge crowds gather for the event.
King's College Chapel on King’s College campus, just west of downtown Cambridge. The college chapel is open to the public during college terms Mon-Fri 9.30am - 3.30pm, Sat 9.30am - 3.15pm, Sun 1.15pm - 2.30pm, and outside of college terms: daily 9.30am - 4.30pm. Tours costs £8 for adults and £5.50 for children or students; services are free. Evensong is held at the chapel throughout term time Mon-Sat at 5.30pm, Sun at 3.30pm, and the annual Nine Lessons Carol Service is held at 3pm on Christmas Eve.