Handmade in Papier-mâché and glittery plaster, venetian masks ( right) are now strictly tourist fare, but they were once essential attire during carnival, allowing aristocrats to enjoy themselves in anonymity. One unusual model, with a long curved nose, was used by doctors during plagues, its cativy filled with perfumed herbs to filter the diseased air
Casa di Giulietta
Tourists flock to “Juliet’s House”, the 13th century presumed abode of the shakespearean heroine, complete with a pretty balcony ( added in 1928) from which you may imagine her uttering that immortale cry: 2Romeo Romeo wherefore art thow Romeo? the courtyard walls are filled with multilingual graffiti left by lovers from all over the world
First settled by the Romans, who established a camp in AD 79 to defend fertile land near river dee, the main streets of Chester Rows, which, with their two tiers of shops and continuos upper gallery, anticipate today’s multi-storey shops by several centuries.
Although their oriel windows and decorative timber – work are mostly 19th century, The Rows were first built in the 13th and 14th centuries and some of the original buildings are still standing.
The facade of the century bishops LLoyd’s house in Watergate street is the most richly carved in Chester. The Rows are at their most varied and attractive where Eastgate street meets bridge street. Here ,wiews of the cathedral and the town walls give the impression of a perfectly preserved medieval city. This illusion is helped by the town crier, who calls the hour and announces news in summer from the cross, a reconstruction of the 15th century stone crucifix that was destroyed in the civil war
The cathedral is surrounded on two sides by the city wall, originally roman but rebuilt at intervals visitors can wall the entire circuit but the best stretch is from the cathedral to Eastgate where a wrought – iron clock was erected in 1899