Canterburian /kan'teuhr byoor"ee euhn/, adj.
/kan"teuhr ber'ee, -beuh ree/ or, esp. Brit., /-bree/, n.
1. a city in E Kent, in SE England: cathedral; early ecclesiastical center of England. 115,600.
2. a municipality in E New South Wales, in SE Australia: a part of Sydney. 115,100.

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Historic city and administrative district (pop., 2001: 135,287), southeastern England.

Located on the River Great Stour, the site has been occupied since pre-Roman times; the Roman town of Durovernum Cantiacorum was established after Claudius invaded Britain in AD 43. It has been an ecclesiastical metropolis of England since St. Augustine of Canterbury founded a monastery there in 602 and later established a cathedral. The cathedral was the scene of the murder of Archbishop St. Thomas Becket in 1170. After his canonization in 1172, it became a pilgrimage shrine; it is the destination of the pilgrims in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Canterbury was heavily bombed in World War II, but the cathedral largely escaped damage. The cathedral and other historic buildings were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988.
(as used in expressions)
Anselm of Canterbury Saint
Augustine of Canterbury Saint
Dunstan of Canterbury Saint
Theodore of Canterbury Saint

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historic town and surrounding city in the administrative and historic county of Kent, southeastern England. Its cathedral has been the primary ecclesiastical centre of England since the early 7th century CE. The city, a district within the administrative county of Kent, includes the town of Canterbury, the surrounding countryside, and an area extending to the Thames Estuary, including the seaside towns of Whitstable and Herne Bay.

      The site of the town of Canterbury, which has been occupied since pre-Roman times, was in ancient times the mouth of the River Stour (Stour, River), which broadened into an estuary extending to the Wantsum Channel, the strait that once separated the Isle of Thanet (Thanet, Isle of) from the mainland. The Roman town of Durovernum Cantiacorum was established on the site after the invasion of Claudius in 43 CE. It was connected to London (55 miles [89 km] northwest) and to Dover (16 miles [26 km] southeast) by Casingc Street (later Watling Street). The town wall was built by the Romans about 200 CE and rebuilt in the Middle Ages; parts of it still stand. Of the six medieval entrances to the town, only Westgate survives.

 In the late 6th century Canterbury was the capital of Aethelberht I, king of Kent, whose marriage to a Christian—Bertha, daughter of the Frankish king Charibert (Charibert I)—probably influenced him in favour of the mission of St. Augustine of Canterbury (Augustine of Canterbury, Saint), who arrived on the Isle of Thanet in 597 and was given St. Martin's, the queen's parish church. After his consecration at Arles as bishop of the English, Augustine returned to Canterbury, founded the Abbeys of SS. Peter and Paul (known after his death as St. Augustine's Abbey), and established the cathedral, which was originally called Christ Church.

 The town grew in importance, though it suffered badly from Danish raids, especially in 1011. After the murder (1170) of Archbishop Thomas Becket (Becket, Saint Thomas) in the cathedral and Henry II's penance there in 1174, Becket's shrine attracted many pilgrims. Catering to their needs became the principal activity of the many inns of the town, and a picture of the travelers is given in The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer (Chaucer, Geoffrey).

      Municipal government dates from the 14th century or earlier, and the town was promoted to county status, with a sheriff, in 1461. During the 16th-century Reformation (Protestantism), the numerous monastic houses were dissolved, the cult of Becket was suppressed, and the town languished. An influx of Huguenot and Walloon refugees (mostly weavers) revived the town.

      The town suffered severely from bombardment in World War II, though the cathedral was little damaged (fires were lit on the grounds during air raids in order to give the appearance that the cathedral was already in flames). The shopping area, Longmarket, has since been renovated.

  The cathedral was rebuilt from the 11th to the 12th century and from the 14th to the 16th century, when the present nave and the distinctive tower (Bell Harry tower) were built. A series of capitals (capital) in the large crypt is a fine example of Norman architectural sculpture and features animals and monsters of fable. The Corona and the Trinity Chapel have exquisite stained-glass windows, some of which date from the 12th and 13th centuries. The crypt was granted to the Huguenots as their church at the end of the 16th century, and weekly services are still held in French. On the cathedral grounds, Christ Church Gate gives entrance to the remains of the monastic buildings, and a Norman staircase leads to the hall of the King's School, founded in the early Middle Ages as a monastic school and reestablished in 1541 by Henry VIII as a grammar school for boys.

      Other medieval ecclesiastical buildings grace the town, including survivals of the original 22 parish churches and remains of St. Augustine's Abbey outside the walls; a museum at the site features excavated objects from Saxon and Roman times. The great abbey gate (c. 1300) remains standing. Also notable is the Canterbury Heritage Museum, which is housed in a 13th-century hospital. Some of the houses of the Huguenot refugees still stand along the Stour. Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine's Abbey, and St. Martin's Church were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988.

      Modern Canterbury is a market town and district service centre. It has some light industries and attracts some two million tourists a year. Its many educational institutions include the University of Kent at Canterbury (founded 1965) and Canterbury Christ Church College (1962). Area, city (district), 120 square miles (311 square km). Pop. (1991) town, 36,464; Canterbury urban area, 39,734; (1998 est.) city (district), 139,300.

      regional council, east-central South Island, New Zealand, centred on the Canterbury Plains. The region borders the Pacific Ocean to the east, extends southward from the vicinity of Kaikoura to the Waitaki River, and includes the city of Christchurch and Banks Peninsula. Canterbury's area also stretches westward to include the eastern slopes of the Southern Alps. The other principal rivers of this sheep-raising and grain-producing region are the Rakaia (Rakaia River) and Waimakariri (Waimakariri River). Mixed farming is carried out on the lower coastal areas. Christchurch, which was settled in the early 1850s, has become the South Island's largest city. Timaru, which has an artificial harbour, and Ashburton are other centres of population. There is salmon fishing in the rivers, and Mount Hutt is the site of a popular ski resort. Area 17,235 square miles (44,638 square km). Pop. (2006) 541,515.

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Universalium. 2010.