The Galway Cathedral

1 Oct

While my friends and I were walking along the River Corrib, I saw a large, grey-green structure dominating the Galway landscape. As I walked closer, I realized it was a cathedral. The Galway Cathedral. I almost ran in – as a potential architecture student, I was eager to see what was hidden inside. I love cathedrals and their vastness; it is always astonishing to think that these structures were made with human hands. The Galway Cathedral, however, struck me. The rich, wooden ceiling gave the church a certain warmth, and the stone walls elicited a feeling of hominess.  The cathedral’s massive, 59 pipe organ left in me awe. The stained glass let neon light pour into the room, while the mosaics took my breath away. I learned that the cathedral was designed by John J. Robinson, who designed many churches in Dublin as well as the rest of Ireland. The cathedral was only built in 1958, but its architecture and imagery drew on influences from the past: the church’s domes and pillars reflect an influence of Renaissance architecture, and the rose windows and mosaics are evocative of Christian Art. Robinson also added Irish characteristics to the cathedral with a mosaic depicting John F. Kennedy praying. As I walked through the pews, I thought about how smart of an architect Robinson was: he combined grandiose, classical elements with distinctly Irish features to create a unique cathedral that people from both Ireland and abroad could appreciate. After spending about 15 minutes marvelling and taking pictures, I began to walk out of the Cathedral. My feet echoed as I walked, and when I was just at the door, I looked back to take the sights in one more time. I thought, “One day, I’d like to design something as great as this.”


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