The Cross of Cong – Rob Roriston

19 Sep

Last Friday, we went to the National Museum of Ireland. Having never been to a museum outside of the United States, i wasn’t quite sure what to expect. When we arrived, it was interesting to see the different sorts of artifacts that the museum had to offer. From bodies preserved in bogs for hundreds of years to artifacts left behind from the vikings of Ireland, it was amazing to see the variety of exhibits at the museum. Amidst all these artifacts, there was one that really caught my eye: The Cross of Cong. This cross, sculpted with very intricate design and detail, stuck out to me.¬†Tairdelbach Ua Chonchobair, king of Connacht and high king of Ireland ordered the Cross of Cong to be made in 1123 in order to encase a fragment of the “True Cross”. The cross was thought to be made of sheet bronze, but actually discovered to be made of sheets of brass and cast brass. It is designed in a Greek-Roman Gothic style, with a rock crystal in the center. It represented the power and wealth that the king had, and has been brought to different areas in Ireland for display since it’s creation. The Cross of Cong was a very aesthetically pleasing artifact, but looking into its history makes it even more engaging. The trip to the museum was a great experience, and one I can look back on with a successful view after learning more about such a captivating item that is there.Image

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