York’s history truly begins with the Romans. The city was founded in about AD 71 when the 5,000 men of the Ninth Legion marched from Lincoln and set up camp. Eboracum, as the Romans called York, was born. People from all corners of the world have been flocking to the city ever since.
Led by Halfdan and Ivar the Boneless, the Viking army attacked on November 1 866. This date may well have been chosen with care. It was All Saints Day, an important festival in York when many of the town’s leaders could have been in the cathedral, making a surprise attack even more effective. It worked, they took York.
William the Conqueror marched on York in 1068. William intended to make this large and prosperous city a part of his kingdom. As he approached, leading citizens gave him hostages and the keys to the city. William was determined to stamp his authority on York. He began by building a castle, followed by a second in 1069, leaving 500 knights as a garrison. The city’s continuing importance was thus confirmed – it was the only place in the country with two castles outside London.
York's wealth of attractions could keep even the most determined visitor occupied for weeks. A visit to York Minster, the largest gothic cathedral north of the Alps goes without saying. Do not miss the Jorvik Viking Centre an award winning experience transporting you to a Viking settlement 1000 years ago or the National Railway Museum with the finest collection of trains in the world. York’s other top attractions include Clifford's Tower, Fairfax House, The York Dungeon, York Castle Museum and Yorkshire Air Museum to name but a few.