Oxford is known to be the British equivalent to Yale and Harvard. With its prestigious reputation, it seems fair to assume that every student at Oxford comes from a wealthy, high-class family and has high aspirations of becoming a world-class scholar or a respected member of Parliament. Walking through the enormous campus spread throughout an entire city, these preconceptions are most definitely validated. When gazing up at the high arches and the intricate details of each crevice of every building, it is not surprising that Oxford is the alma mater of 26 British Prime Ministers, 50 Nobel Prize winners, and even a president of the United States.
Perhaps the most striking feature of Oxford University is the architecture of each building. Every building is so unique, yet compliments its neighbor. The buildings flow eloquently together, each presenting its own character while obeying to the overall Oxford attitude. The buildings stand tall and present hundreds of years of history, with some of the most influential people in history once walking through the arches. When standing in the courtyard of St. John's, it almost feels as if the ghosts of previous famous Oxonians are floating past. The towers establish ancient Roman and Greek influences, from the pillars to the Latin names written on the walls. Each layer of every building symbolizes something historic and composes a mural flowing from one wall to the next. The landscape of each college is flawless, not one dead blade of grass in sight. Gardens and ponds serve as havens for studying, and pondering, providing the perfect place for enlightenment.
Although the Oxford and Kensington architecture varies immensely, many similarities can be found in the ambiance of each burrow. When walking down the streets of Kensington and Chelsea, the wealth and status of Oxford is heavily represented, while the history and individuality has less of a presence. The suburban Kensington flats look identical to the neighboring flats with no small details separating them from one another. The sparkling white paint of each Kensington manner seems to represent new-old money, while the tan, stone buildings of Oxford symbolize old-old money. Each burrow is classy and sophisticated, living up to their reputations. Both Oxford and Kensington represent character and status, each in their own ways. While they both seem to demand respect and status, Oxford demands the brains to go with the beauty.