A castle founded by William the Conqueror has opened to the public after it was shut in 2010 amid concerns over safety and anti-social behaviour.
Built in 1070, Chester Castle was the base for the English conquest of Wales.
The city’s MP Chris Matheson said reopening the attraction had been “quite problematic” as the site was owned by various organisations.
He said he had to “bang heads together” but “getting access to some very old parts of the city will be fantastic”.
Founded during the Roman military occupation, the historic city draws about eight million visitors annually, a spokesman for Cheshire West and Chester Council said.
The castle, which is in the south-west part of the walled city, will be free to get into until 3 September.
The local authority is looking into whether a museum and art gallery could be located at the site in the future.
Council cabinet member Louise Gittins said: “For that to happen it’s a long-term view and there are a lot of barriers to overcome.
“We want to encourage and inspire people to connect with local heritage and to use the fabric of the city as a backdrop for interesting and engaging activities and events.”
- Founded by William the Conqueror in 1070 as he extended his control over England
- Became the administrative centre of the earldom of Chester
- During the reigns of Henry III and Edward I, the castle served as the English military headquarters for the conquest of Wales
- It was used as the headquarters of the Royalist governor Lord John Byron in the English Civil War (1642-6)
- The complex adjoining the castle hosts Chester Crown Court and a regimental museum
Source: English Heritage