The Beautiful Christchurch Cathedral–Rebecca Leung

7 Oct

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On the first day in Dublin, me and a whole group of people I had just met from the Northeastern program decided to all take a walk around Dublin and explore the area. We walked out of Griffith College and were on our way to check out what was around the corner.
Our entire group had no idea where we were going, seeing as we were all new to the area. In the end, someone was able to pull out their Google Maps and we all decided to head to Temple Bar. On our walk there, we encountered a beautiful and ancient church. I had never been religious, but there was something about the building that drew me in.
I later found out that this entrancing building was called the Christchurch Cathedral. It was located in what used to be the city center of medieval Dublin. It can be clearly seen from the River Liffey, and is especially beautiful to see from the river during the night time. It stands alone and isolated, surrounded by commercial buildings. When I walk along the River Liffey at the nighttime and see the Church against the foggy dimlit sky, it tells me that the city of Dublin is not only a city for the young, but has existed for generations beyond count.
The Christchurch serves as an ancient reminder of the times when religion meant power. It still is a place of power indeed; the Christchurch was pronounced the seat of both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic archbishops in Dublin. The Christchurch was built in a Gothic/Romanesque architectural style, and can date back as early as 1030 AD. It was founded sometime after King Sitric Silkenbeard, a Hiberno-Norse king, completed a pilgrimage to Dublin. Originally a wooden building, it was eventually rebuilt by Strongbow, a Norman magnate, into a stone building in the 1180s. The Church was also headed by the second archbishop of Dublin, Lawrence O’Toole, who was later commemorated as a saint.
As one can see, the Christchurch has been associated with many powerful characters throughout Irish history. Not only is it a symbol of the power of the Catholic religion in Ireland, it is also a proud attribute to the strong Irish culture. As years go by, the Christchurch Cathedral will remain standing tall, reminding all the Irish people to never forget their strong heritage.
–Rebecca Leung

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