Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Old and Grand St. Patrick's Cathedral

An Irish taxi driver once told us that in Ireland there are two things that are plentiful: churches and pubs. We didn't have to do anything but open our eyes to see that this was true.  Both churches and pubs were easy to spot.  The churches come in tall gray stone buildings while the pubs are lined along the streets in dark strong colors usually with hanging beautiful flower baskets.  As if Ireland intended it to provide both the worldly and and spiritual avenues in life.   

To me Saint Patrick's Cathedral would have been an ordinary old cathedral were it not for the history that passed through its gates.  And although it is now a tourist destination, it remains a functional cathedral to this day.  

The floors tiles have very intricate designs - very Irish!  I'm not sure whether they are the original tiles but they sure look old and classic.

One of the things that surprised me in terms of furniture are the chairs or pews.  They are made of wood; they are not padded at all and they have straight backs.  The seat and the back rest are at 90-degree angle.  There is no slouching in these chairs.

The most prominent person buried in this cathedral is probably Jonathan Swift (author of Gulliver's Travels).  Several important people in history have either visited or served in this cathedral - Cromwell, William of Orange, King James I, etc.  The one that surprised me the most is that Robert Boyle (founder of Boyle's Law)once served as a priest in this cathedral.  It makes complete sense because churches in the early days were not only a place of worship but also the seat of education.

For anybody visiting Dublin, I highly recommend visiting Saint Patrick's Cathedral. My opinion about Saint Patrick and the color of Saint Patrick's Day has changed. The color green will just be one of the many colors that I will think of come March 17.

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