Chester is one of England's most attractive historic cities, situated in the North West of England in the county of Cheshire. Chester was founded as a "castrum" or Roman fort, hence the name, in the year 79 AD by the Roman Legion during the reign of the Emperor Vespasian. The city has various medieval buildings, although some of the black-and-white edifices within the city centre are Victorian restorations. Chester is one of the best well-kept walled cities in the British Isles, boasting a circuit measuring nearly 2 miles (3km). The town is thus particularly indicated for history lovers. The city abounds in medieval architecture and stunning half-timbered buildings, the most famous of which is the complex known as "The Rows", a series of covered galleries above street-level shops lining Watergate, Eastgate, and Bridge Street. The layout of The Rows dates back to the 13th century. One of the most amazing sites in Chester in the Chester Cathedral, a truly remarkable building, with a history spanning almost two thousand years. According to legend, a Druid temple existed on this site and was ensued by a Roman temple to Apollo. The first stones of the actual building were laid in 1092, originally conceived as an abbey church for a Benedictine monastery.