St. Patrick's Cathedral
21-50 St. Patrick's Close
Living Stones Event
One of the really interesting things about the church is how far "below" street level it is now -- stairs inside go down two whole flights to the interior floor level,far below the current street level outside. That fact usually takes a bit to sink in, but when it does, I'm always awed by how much things have been built up and wonder, just how did they do it? I mean, these are streets -- did they just build another layer over things, and when a building fell down they just leveled it out and piiled on top? Wouldn't that be really unstable? Maybe it's just a buildup of dust and mud int he street? Wierd.
Jonathon Swift was dean at the cathedrail from 1713 to 1745, so much of the interior decoration and history of the church is related to him. His tomb is inside, next to his companion, Stella. LIke most medieval churches, tombs and memorials abound inside the 300-foot long church -- Turlough O'Carolan, the blind harpist; the first president of Ireland. It makes the inside of the church seem like a huge display case. Swift's pulpit and his table are also preserved here.
There is a door on display here with a hole in it, which has an interesting story: During a feud between the werals of Kildare and Ormond, Ormond barricated himslef in the chapter house behind this door. Kildare, in an effort to stop the hostilities, cut the hole in the door and stuck his hand through to begin negotiations. It worked, adn the door was saved as-is. The chapterhouse in question is now the south transept of the church.
More monuments line the north and south sides of the church -- Robert Boyle (of Boyle's Law), the Erskine family, Douglas Hyde. Some of the elaborate stone and gilded monuments actually rival the altarpiece and choir of the church. The north transept has memorials of Irish soldiers killed in the wars in Burma, China, Egypt, and South Africa.
lost in ireland 2005 travelogue and photos © rfingerson