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York Minster, the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, stands at the city's centre.
York's centre is enclosed by medieval walls. The entire circuit (including parts where walls never existed) is about 3 miles.Clifford's Tower, a quatrefoil keep built on top of a Norman motte, was the site of a massacre of Jews in 1190.
The Shambles is a narrow medieval street, lined with shops, boutiques and tea rooms. Most of these premises were once butchers' shops, and the hooks from which carcasses were hung and the shelves on which meat was laid out can still be seen outside some of them. The street also contains the Shrine of Margaret Clitherow, although it is not located in the house where she lived.
Another feature of central York is the Snickelways, narrow pedestrian routes, many of which led towards the former main market-place. The city has many museums, including the Castle Museum, Yorkshire Museum & Gardens, JORVIK Viking Centre, the York Art Gallery, Richard III Museum and the Merchant Adventurers' Hall. The National Railway Museum is situated just beyond the station, and is home to a vast range of transport material and the largest collection of railway locomotives in the world. Included this collection are the world's fastest steam locomotive LNER 4468 Mallard and the world famous 4472 Flying Scotsman, which is being overhauled in the Museum.
York is also noted for its wealth of churches and pubs. Many of the remaining churches in York are from the medieval period. It is said that York contains one pub for every day of the year, and that there is no point within the city walls where one can stand and not be able to see at least one pub and at least one church, but these claims are exaggerated.
The City's football team is York City F.C. who play in the Nationwide Conference. York also has a rugby league side, York City Knights and an open rowing club York City Rowing Club, located underneath Lendal Bridge. York Racecourse was established in 1731 and from 1990 was awarded Northern Racecourse of the Year for 17 years running. This major horse racing venue, located on the Knavesmire, sees thousands flocking to the city every year for the 15 race meetings. In August racing takes place over the three day Ebor Festival that includes the Ebor handicap dating from 1843.
The most notable sportsmen to come form York in recent years are footballer Marco Gabbiadini and the current England manager Steve McClaren, who both attended Nunthorpe Grammar School(now called Millthorpe School).
Motorcycle speedway took place at York. The track in the Burnholme Estate was completed in 1930 and a demonstration event staged. In 1931 the track staged team and open events and the York team took part in the National Trophy.
York International 9s is a rugby league nines tournament which takes place in York each year.
York has two main theatres, the Theatre Royal and the Grand Opera House. It also has many amateur companies, and is home to the Riding Lights Theatre Company.
A former church, St Margaret is one of the two medieval churches that survive from the original six in the Walmgate area (the other survivor is St Denys, above). It dates back to at least the 12th century, though most of the present structure is 14th century. The major exceptions are the red brick tower, built in 1684 after the collapse of a previous tower, and the Romanesque tunnel-vaulted south porch which is enriched with carvings of the signs of the zodiac and the labours of the Months. The porch originally belonged to the church of St Nicholas's Hospital, which was situated outside Walmgate Bar and was ruined during the Civil War. It was moved to St Margarets at about the same time as the rebuilding of the tower.
St Margaret was restored and enlarged in 1850-1, but its congregation gradually declined and it was declared redundant in 1974.