my Irish love, Cork: Ardeaglais Naomh Fionnbarra
Happy Tuesday! And Happy September! Can you believe it’s September already?! How are you doing? Are you taking time to check-in with yourself and give yourself the care, love, and attention you need? If not, it’s perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to do whatever you want/need to do during ‘me time.’ Maybe your thing is yoga, meditation, running, reading, tending to a pallet garden you built, sewing some pillowcases for your home decor, making a dress to match your homemade mask, paddle boarding, refurbishing furniture, woodworking, tooling around with some new tools, or even playing animal crossing with family and friends, but whatever you want to do during your assigned ‘me time,’ make sure you’re doing it and giving yourself a break.
If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “my Irish love, Cork: Crawford Art Gallery” - you can click here to read about our return to my favorite Irish city, Cork, and the time I spent wandering through the (free admission) Crawford Art Gallery! Yesterday’s post also includes the rest of the links to my blogs about my fun experiences in Cork in case you needed to catch up! If you are all up to date on the adventures, then let’s continue, shall we?
One of my favorite things to do while I lived in Europe was visit and tour old churches. If you didn't get a chance to read my post on visiting the Vatican, you can click here for that post! Now, European churches are a historical mixed bag. It’s hard to ignore the amount of abuse that took place in the construction of the old buildings, as well as the abuse that has taken place inside the walls, as well. But if you are able to put historical atrocities aside for just a few minutes and acknowledge that history hardly ever ages well and that putting anything of olden days under today’s microscope will (more often than not) lead to some level of embarrassment, there is a kind of structural, architectural, and aesthetic admiration that can take place. After all, more than one thing can be true at any given moment. Churches can be beautiful breathtaking structures worthy of admiration, and they can also be the basis for many horrifying examples of abuse and corruption of power. Necco Wafers can be a chalky candy, and they can also be the body of Christ - Amen - when you play Holy Communion for funsies.
Ardeaglais Naomh Fionnbarra, or Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, is an example of a beautiful church I visited while in Cork. A Gothic Revival three-spire cathedral in Cork, it has undergone several demolitions and renovations, making it what it is today. Although the Church’s Christian roots date back to a 7th century AD monastery, during part of the Protestant Reformation in the early 1500s, the cathedral became part of the Church of Ireland. Its most recent demolition and remodel was funded by the Anglican Church in the mid-1800s, making it the version of the church that still stands today.
When I first entered the Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, I didn’t know about the complex history and multiple makeovers. I did, however, find it to be a peaceful place that felt like it held importance in the Cork community. It was very quiet - as most older European cathedrals are when visiting - and filled with cardboard cutouts and signposts of the history of the church and of Cork.
It was a beautiful place to visit architecturally and a beautiful place to wander through, admiring the stillness and quietness of the experience, as well as the intricate details of the building’s interior. Have you ever visited a beautiful cathedral - in Europe or otherwise? Let me know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been receiving a lot of really incredible stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe! Other people’s stories that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about whatever stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have any restaurants/eateries/pubs/coffee shops/ice cream joints/theatres/lookout spots you would recommend in other countries or even in your current home town or city, I'm absolutely 100% all ears!! I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.
P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):
55. 13.1 in Dublin
70. the Kingsroad
75. Dear Nana
90. French weddings
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