Friday, May 7, 2010

Dublin's quirks and priceless treasures.

Once again Josephine led us through history. This time it was through the city of Dublin. We've been in the city for two and half days now, but we didn't really know what was here.
Our first stop was the memorial for the men who lost their lives in the 1916 rise. The memorial was built in 1960 on the 50th anniversary of the event.

We continued through out the city and Josephine filled us in on the fight for Irish independence. It is surprisingly similar to that of the US fight for independence from the British. A declaration of independence was created as well as a constitution. Many lives were fought and civil war followed in the years after.

St. Patrick's Cathedral:

One word: astonishing. This amazingly detailed cathedral is still in use today and holds many artifacts of Ireland's history.

St. Patrick's story is amazing. He was essentially held captive and forced into slavery by Irish people. He escaped to Britain but returned to convert the pagans in Ireland to Christianity.

The cathedral was built adjacent to the well where it was suspected that St. Patrick baptized the converts of Dublin.Originally the cathedral was a Catholic church, but after Henry the VIII came to town, the church was forced to become Anglican.Despite this, the church contains all traces of its history.

There were extraordinary stained glass windows. The one pictured above is of King Cormac of Cashel.

The Door of Reconciliation is a famous story throughout Dublin. The Earl of Ormonde and the Earl Kildare were having a dispute over who knows what. They fought through the city and ended up chasing one another to the cathedral. They closed the cathedral door and cut a hole in it. Through the hole one of the Earls stuck their hand out and shook his opponent's hand. The term, "Chance your arm," is popular in Ireland and means "taking a risk."

The Guiness family (yes, of the beer) paid for the renovation of St. Patrick's cathedral and also for many welfare projects in the city. Including a hostel for the homeless.

Trinity College:

Trinity is one of the hardest colleges to be accepted into. Greats like William Butler Yeats attended and taught at this college.

Josephine was excited to show us the Oregon Maple trees on the campus.

Trinity College is also home to the Book of Kells and the largest library in Ireland. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the exhibit for the Book of Kells or the library. However, it was absolutely stunning.

National Library, Museum, and Gallery:

Some of our group went to the Genealogy services at the National Library to look for information on their heritage. One of our group was very very lucky and will be surprising their family with some wonderful information.


Dublin is an extraordinary city. Here are some pictures of the city's quirks and historical features.

The colorful doors:

Some say that there are so many colorful doors in Dublin because when Queen Elizabeth demanded that all things be painted black in mourning of her late husband, Dubliners revolted and painted their doors different colors.

However, Josephine says the doors were painted bright colors so drunken husbands would be able to find their house at early hours in the morning.

Oscar Wilde:

This statue was made using different types of stones to make Oscar's clothes look as real as possible.

A lady dropped her scarf and didn't come back to pick it up, so a member of our group added it to the statue in the park. Just leaving our harmless mark on the city. =)

Molly Malone:

In Dublin's fair city where the girls are so pretty I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone As she wheeled her wheelbarrow,through streets broad and narrow Crying cockles and mussles alive,alive-oh.

She was a fishmonger and sure 'twas no wonder
For so were her father and mother before They both wheeled their barrows through streets broad and narrow Crying cockles and mussles alive,alive-oh.

She died of a fever and noone could save her
And that was the end of sweet Molly Molone But her ghost wheels her barrow through streets broad and narrow Crying cockles and mussles alive,alive-oh.

This is the popular poem/pub song about Molly Malone. It is sweet and endearing but Dubliners have other classy names for Molly: The Dish with the fish, or the Tart with the Kart.

That is all for Dublin. We head to Glaway with stops at Trim castle and Clonmacnoise Monestary site.

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