Auckland Castle has been the palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham for over 900 years.
The Castle was the seat of power in the North East of England and after the Norman Conquest and the subsequent Harrying of the North, the Bishop of Durham was granted exceptional powers to act as a political and military leader. The king allowed him to raise taxes, mint coins and hold his own parliaments. Such royal privileges made the Bishop of Durham the second most powerful man in the country - he effectively ruled the area between the Tyne and the Tees.
The Castle is now home to many important works of art, most notably the paintings of Jacob (Israel) and his twelve sons by Spanish master Fransisco da Zurbaran.
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