Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Calls itself a public art museum. Has exhibitions and a permenant collection. Not an essential place to see if you are on a short trip (unless you are very into art) but an interesting place to spend a few hours if you have longer to explore the region. I would recommend combining this with a look around the University of East Anglia campus. The Sainsbury Centre is actually on the univeristy campus. It is open to all though!
"A fine city!"
Norwich was my first experience of living abroad. I spent nearly nine months there, Oct. 1982-June 1983, as part of an undergraduate study abroad program. It was a direct transfer between my college in St. Louis and the University of East Anglia, so I lived in the regular dorms, took the standard seminar classes, socialized with typical UEA students, and generally had the full range of the "KNARR-itch" experience.
One thing I particularly appreciated about East Anglia in general, and Norwich in particular, is that it retains an identity as a distinct and unique part of England. What did we say? "Norwich is cut off from the rest of England on three sides by the North Sea, and on the fourth by British Rail."
There's a strong regional accent in East Anglia. I remember that many of the university staff, especially the cleaning ladies, had a charming nasally tone of voice, very obvious in the way that they pronounced "Norwich" - strongly emphasizing the "gnarled" part of the city name.
Norwich proudly proclaims itself "a fine city." And who could deny it? In the middle ages, this was the "second city" of the realm, a center of medieval agribusiness, with its wool merchants growing fantastically wealthy, endowing dozens of precious churches, many of which still stand. Of course, the finest of all religious buildings in Norwich is its Cathedral, one of the most grandly dignified in all England. The facade - shown here - is mostly 15th century, but there is also much Norman work to be seen, particularly in the nave. Attending a choral church service or concert in Norwich Cathedral is an experience you'll never forget.
The University of East Anglia - UEA - has a strikingly modern campus on the west side of Norwich. It was constructed in the 1960s as one of Britain's "new universities" - and it employed a "new architecture" to go with the times. The general concept of the plan was planned by Denys Lasdun, who was also responsible for the South Bank Arts Complex in London. Much concrete was poured here - and the place can look oppressive and depressing when it rains - which it does a lot in Norwich. But on sunny days the campus is very attractive.
These photos were taken in 1983, when my older brother Rob visited me from Kansas. He brought his 35mm camera. They are just about the only decent pictures I have of Norwich. At that time, I wasn't interested in photography - it was too arcane, too expensive. So most of the pictures that I took there are crap - and they haven't aged well in the last twenty years. (Come to think of it, I haven't aged all that well either!)