In the Middle Ages the city of Reading was a significant political and religious center of the country. In the 12th century an abbey was established on its territory, and it was the most significant and rich in the country at that time. Today the Reading abbey is the main symbol of the city and one of its remarkable sites. In the middle of the 16th century the powerful abbey was abandoned, so local folks unbricked its building and used the bricks for house building.
Despite the fact that the abbey was destroyed many centuries ago the ruins of its scale construction still impress tourists and city guests. In close vicinity to the ruins of abbey tourists will find majestic Forbury Gardens, which were established in the middle of the 19th century. The main decoration of the Victorian park is a stone statue being the restoration of the Maiwand Lion. This memorial was established as a tribute to the memory of the dead in the Afghan war.
Near the abbey tourists will discover another significant religious landmark being the St. Laurence’s Church. The church has preserved its initial look till nowadays, being an interesting place to visit and explore considering its archeological value. Another remarkable historical building siding with the abbey is the Prison of Reading. Oscar Wilde served his sentence exactly in this prison. This fact has added to the worldwide popularity of the house. The most popular cultural establishment of the city is located in the city center. The Museum of Reading is open for public every day featuring free entrance. The museum exposition is devoted to the most important historical events, among the showpieces of the collection tourists will see age-old books and maps, historical documents and armory.