The city of Chester is a lovely place to visit if you want a wee bit of a change from the rural scene in nearby Wales which is where we were staying for a few days when we visited this place. Chester is absolutely choc full of history. We stuck to the townscape but if we had done our homework beforehand we could have visited a Roman amphitheatre and all sorts – next time maybe.

Chester was founded by the Romans in AD 79 and in the photo below you can see that there’s still quite a lot of the original Roman wall that they built around their fort still in existence.

Roman Wall, Chester

Chester Town Hall (maybe)

We didn’t take many photos as there were so many people about, but in the one below you can see the famous Chester Rows – the two tier medieval shops which are still being used as shops today. There are lovely arcades which you can wander around in, keeping dry if it happens to be raining.

Chester Rows

Next time we visit we’ll definitely be aiming for the Roman amphitheatre, which you can see here.

We did visit the Cathedral but that will be in another post.

Saint Barbara’s Church, Chester

I suppose I have to admit to having an interest in church buildings, although I’m not in the least bit religious, so when we stopped off at Overleigh Cemetery in Chester to feed Jack’s definite obsession with Commonwealth War Graves, I was surprised to see that the church in the centre of it was flying an unusual flag. I had originally thought that from the architecture the church looked Scandinavian, but the flag turned out to be Bulgarian so Saint Barbara’s is a Greek Orthodox church. The graveyard surrounding it seems just to be used for any locals though.

St Barbara's exterior

The church was open as there was someone busy in the back offices, so we took the opportunity to have a quick keek inside. It was a bit of a WOW moment as there’s so much gold in there, very different from the austere decor of Scottish Presbyterian churches.

St Barbara interior, Chester

The effect doesn’t really show up so well in the photos, but it looks like they didn’t want to leave any saint out. I’m presuming that these icons depict saints.

St Barbara interior, Chester, orthodox church

We crept in and Jack quickly snapped these photos, and the impression was of opulence, but now that I have the leisure to really look I can see that the walls are just bare brickwork.

St Barbara interior, Chester, orthodox church

St Barbara interior altar, Chester, orthodox church

This was once one of Overleigh Cemetery’s chapels despite the architecture not looking very English. 1987 was the year when it became a Greek Orthodox place of worship.

St Barbara's exterior, Chester, orthodox church