Tag Archives: churches

The ruins of Emmanuel Temple (Youngstown, Ohio)

Emmanuel Temple
~ 117 E. Rayen Ave, Youngstown, Ohio 44503 ~

This abandoned church was designed in Byzantine Revival architecture style in 1912. The First use of the building was as the El Emanuel Congregation Temple of Youngstown, Ohio. The first literary mention of the Temple I could find was in the “The American Architect” published in 1909, stating that plans were being made to erect a synagogue at 117 East Rayen Avenue in Youngstown. (https://books.google.com/books?id=2fJZAAAAYAAJ) The “American Synogogues: A Photo Journey” (http://jpreisler.com/AmericanSynagogue/OhioSamplePage.htm) stated its construction in 1912 depicting 2007 photographs of the temple still intact with front doors and none of the current damages. So it must have been in use until 2007 by the El Emanuel Temple.

According to the “History of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley Ohio, Volume 2 by J.G. Butler” the Youngstown Hebrew Institute was founded in 1907 establishing the Emanuel Congregation school at this address. The study rooms were fitted up in a frame building attached to this church building in the rear and conducted schooling until 1919 when attendance increased so much that they had to relocate the school to better accommodations at the Wood street public school building after regular school hours teaching reading/writing of the Hebrew language, religious training, and secular education from 1st to 6th grade. It was taken over in 2009 by the St. Andrewes Foundation of Faith as a Black American Heritage Church who were making plans to buy the Temple building according to a July 31, 2009 article. The St. Andrewes African Methodist Episcopal Church purchased the building in 2009 and appears to have been in ruin and abandoned by 2015. The church apparently changed its name three times through courses of moves. (http://www.vindy.com/news/2009/jul/31/its-name-has-changed-three-times-because-of-moves/) At some point the “I Am” Inc. Internet service provider used this street address according to Yelp. (https://www.yelp.com/biz/i-am-inc-youngstown) There was a report of a February 27, 2015 burglary of the stain glass windows while the building lie in ruin as reported here: http://www.vindy.com/news/2015/feb/27/police-apprehend-burglary-suspect-at-chu/. Property Shark web site (https://www.propertyshark.com/mason/Property/81097765/117-E-Rayen-Ave-Youngstown-OH-44503/) states the parcel ID as 53-017-0-057.00-0, Lot 781 50 x 150 in school district 53. It is reported to be .172 acres at 3,990 square feet and built in 1900 with a 150 depth, commercial structures 499. There was change of ownerships recorded for 03/07/2016; 08/02/2012; 02/09/2012; 05/11/2001; 01/01/1990. Its 2017-2018 property taxes was $1,033/year with a land value of $8,330, a building value $26,450; and a total market value of $34,780. (https://www.propertyshark.com/mason/Property/81097765/117-E-Rayen-Ave-Youngstown-OH-44503/)

This whole block of churches seem to have befell similar tragedies: one caught on fire from a lightning strike, another one burnt down, one damaged by a tornado, one that has been converted to a brewery, and others abandoned … makes one think that God or some other entity doesn’t want churches on this block). Located around the corner from the First Presbyterian Church, First Calvary Church, and Youngstown Masonic Temple.

Rated: Unrated of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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First Calvary Baptist Church (Youngstown, Ohio)

First Calvary Baptist Church
~ 126 E Wood St, Youngstown, Ohio 44503
Phone: (330) 747-5747 https://www.facebook.com/pages/First-Calvary-Baptist-Church/111807005522001 ~

The ominous church building at the corner with red boarded windows, a bell tower in ruins, and do not trespass signs on its doors makes one believe this church has befell similar tragedies as may of the other churches on the block (one caught on fire from a lightning strike, another one burnt down, one damaged by a tornado, one that has been converted to a brewery, and others abandoned … makes one think that God or some other entity doesn’t want churches on this block). It may however still be in operation – I cannot tell from its presence on the web as the last activity on its facebook page was in 2016 (and depicting the red boarded windows). The red windows make it creepy and there has to be a story behind them. If anyone knows, please share here. It appears to have had lots of activity prior to 2016 with bands, plays, events, and services. It apparently has had some roots with the First Calvary Pentacostal Church which is now in bankruptcy and hosting a barren building as well with over a million in debt. (linked article states the First Calvary Pentacostal Church had its roots as in 1918 when services for the then Mount Calvary Baptist Church were held in the basement of a home on St. Louis Ave.)

The Church is located on Wood Street near the center of Youngstown as a large Romanesque red brick building with numerous arches in its design including lovely arched windows that are now boarded up in red. This building is considered a city landmark and is featured on the self-guided walking tour in GPSmyCity.

According to the History of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley Ohio, Volume 2 – On January 6, 1887 the First Baptist Church building was destroyed by fire following the explosion of natural gas in the building which stood across the street on the northeasst corner of the present courthouse lot. The rebuilding was completed in December 1887 though not rededicated until July 1, 1888. Rev Snodgrass remained pastor until February 1889 succeeded by Rev Clement Hall. Rev Henry Parrish was pastor from 1899 until 1904 then Rev. C. H. Pendleton from 1904-1916, followed by Rev. Barry B. Hall who is the present Pastor. Calvary Baptist Church is new in name but in descent the oldest of the Youngstown Baptist Churches. The Walnut street location was dedicated in 1867 becoming the Walnut Street Baptist Church.

More information here: https://www.gpsmycity.com/attractions/first-calvary-baptist-church-49961.html;

Located around the corner from the First Presbyterian Church, and Youngstown Masonic Temple.

Rated: Unrated of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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First Presbyterian Church / First Helen Chapel (Youngstown, Ohio)

First Helen Chapel – First Presbyterian Church
~ Youngstown, Ohio ~

This large church at the northwestern corner of Champion and Wood Streets in the heart of Youngstown, Ohio is a National Register of Historic Places church that was founded in 1799, the Helen Chapel built in 1889. GPS tours claims it to be the oldest church in the Western Reserve. The current sanctuary was dedicated in 1960 featuring classic Georgian Epoque elements. The architecture has four immense columns and three grand doorways.

Rated: Unknown of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Glastonbury Methodist Church Drinking Fountain

Glastonbury Methodist Church Drinking Fountain
~ Lambrook Street, Glastonbury, England BA6 8BY Phone 01458 442313 http://somersetmethodists.org/somerset_mendip_circuit_029.htm ~

There is not much available about this font, drinking fountain, and/or well. The Methodist chapel was built around 1843. To the left of the chapel where the well font currently sits was a pond for washing carts – this was covered over to form a brick-arched reservoir which was first mentioned in 1821 property deeds. The reservoir is underneath the lawn and contains over 31,500 gallons of water still accessed by the Fire Department when necessary and is owned by Bristol Water. The Well font is believed to connect to this and appears to be for drinking. At the time of my visit, there was a blue ribbon attached to it and a cup filled with water sitting in the font. No signs stating whether safe to drink or not but assumed such.

It is known by tourists as a “drinking fountain” and is inset into the front stone wall of the churches’ facade opening onto the street. http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1250671 The sign to the left of it says “commit no nuisance.” Near the apex of the ornate drinking fountain is a hand that points to the right (or south) around which is inscribed “TO THE TOR”.

This is also the Methodist church that has the “Glastonbury Thorn Trees” on its property that oddly blooms twice a year instead of once and is from whence the budded branch during Christmas is sent to the Queen.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. Visited 8/1/2011. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Whitby Abbey

The Gothic Abbey
The Gothic Abbey, Whitby, England

The Whitby Abbey
* Abbey Lane, Whitby, North Yorkshire – YO22 4JT *

I have always been drawn to the iconography of the Gothic Abbey atop the hills of Whitby, England. It is that vaguely interwoven backdrop of the gothic culture that is drawn to this city that once was home to Bram Stoker and the concept of “Dracula”. This fabulous monastic ruins was founded in 657 of the Common Era by King Oswy of Northumbria as a “double monastery” Anglo-Saxon style masterpiece housing both men and women. Equip with a decent visitor center and museum, one can walk the majestic ruins of this Yorkshire image. The 1220 Early English Gothic style ruins belong to the church of the Benedictine abbey re-founded on its site by the Normans. Embracing the sky with high richly carved pinnacle d east and north end transepts brandishing the marks of war, nature, and history as it is slowly reclaimed by the Earth. Definitely a spectacular monument not to be missed. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.


It was this Abbey, belonging to the Benedictine order, that was left in ruin after the dis-establishment after the Dissolution of the Monasteries under the auspices of King Henry VIII. Now preserved, monitored, and cared for by the English Heritage with its museum housed inside the Cholmley House. One of North Yorkshire’s most memorable monuments, it has been used for numerous photo shoots, films, documentaries, and settings. Whitby was originally called “Streoneshalh” (named after Fort Bay or “Tower Bay”, of the Roman settlement that stood here first) and was home to the first Anglo-Saxon monastery here in 657 C.E. by Oswy (Oswiu), the King of Northumbria at the time. Lady Hilda, the abbess of Hartlepool Abbey, and grand-nieces of the first Christian King of Northumbria, Edwin, was appointed founding abbess of this “Streona’s Settlement”. This was a “double monastery”, managed and occupied by Celtic nuns and monks. It was also the home of the great poet Caedmon. By 867-870, the Danes led successive raids of the monastery, leaving it in ruins for almost 200 years. When Reinfrid, one of WIlliam the Conqueror’s soldiers travelled to this site as a monk, it was called “Prestebi” meaning “white settlement” in Old Norse. He founded a new monastery atop the ruins of St. Peters with two carucates of land, joined by the founder’s brother Serlo de Percy, they began Benedictine rule. In 1540, Henry VIII declared the Dissolution of Monasteries, thereby falling into destruction and ruin. Locals mined stones from its structures, leaving it but a crumbling ruin on the landscape. It however was still used as a landmark by sailors coming into port, and was heavy inspiration for Bram Stoker when writing “Dracula”. In 1914, it was shelled by German battle cruisers by a mis-fire giving it un-repairable considerable damage.

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St. Brigid’s Cathedral – Kildare

St. Brighid’s Cathedral

St. Brighid’s Cathedral
* Kildare, Ireland * Open May-September, Mon-Sat 10 am – 1 pm; 2 pm – 5 pm; Sundays from 2-5 pm. Cathedral closes October thru April.

In the heart of Kildare lies St. Brigid’s Cathedral. This is the place in 480 C.E. that St. Brigid renamed as “Cill Dara” (modern Kildare) which means the “Cell or Church of the Oak” and built her Abbey on the hill beside a great Sacred Oak Tree. The present day stone Norman Cathedral is a restored 13th century version rebuilt numerous times after many fires, desecrations, and ruins of the originals that existed as early as 500 C.E. The Cathedral is likely built atop the Original Pagan Shrine to the Goddess Brigid and the later early Christian foundation and Church of St. Brigid. Brigid was the Goddess of Poetry, Magic, Muse, Inspiration, Healing, Smithcraft, and the Harvest. As a Saint she is the provider of plenty, giver of life, nurturer, fertility, and fire. The current structure seen in these photos was built in 1223 by the Norman Bishop Ralph of Bristol in an early Gothic style with a square central tower. Because of the history of invasions and plunders, especially by the Vikings, the current Cathedral was built for defense as well as worship. The Cathedral continues to serve the townspeople of Kildare as well as Brigid devotees from around the world and has for centuries. After the Reformation the Cathedral fell in disrepair and in complete ruins after the Confederate Wars by 1649. It was rebuilt in 1686 and restored to its present form from 1875-1896. In the 19th century it was rebuilt and restored back to its illuminated origins. Additional major restorations took place in 1996. The interior of the Cathedral has numerous stone carvings ranging from Pagan and early Christian to Norman period or later. It also houses numerous artifacts ranging from a 16th century vault, religious seals, a medieval water font, and shrines. It is here that the Nunnery originally founded by St. Brigid in the 5th century once stood as well as her original wooden Church. The churchyard has a graveyard, Celtic Cross, St. Brigid’s Fire Altar and Firehouse, Vaults, and a 105 ft high Round Tower (one of the last to be erected in Ireland). The Cathedral contains numerous medieval tombs, the most famous of which is one of the Fitzgeralds of Lackagh ( 1575 ). It is here that the Priestesses or Sisters of Brigid kept the flame eternally lit. This required 19 Sisters or Priestesses that kept vigil and made sure the flame never went out. Now Christianized, the Sisters / Nuns tend to her flame and continue the work the ancients once started. It was extinguished between the Reformation and its re-establishment in 1807. In 1993 the Perpetual flame was re-kindled in Kildare’s Market Square by Sister Mary Teresa Cullen.

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St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Dublin)

St. Patrick’s Cathedral
* Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Saint Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8, Ireland * http://www.stpatrickscathedral.ie *

In the Medieval District of Dublin lies one of Dublin’s most famous churches also known as The National Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint Patrick, Dublin or “rd Eaglais Naomh Pdraig”. The Church was founded in 1191 C.E. and is the larger of Dublin’s two Church of Ireland cathedrals as well as being the largest church in Ireland with a 140 foot spire. The Cathedral is in memorial to St. Patrick and his colored past in Ireland and is meant to lift the spirits of the Irish out of the realm of things and circumstances which change into a realm of things that are eternal and unchanging giving everyone a perspective in both space and time to be face-to-face with faith in God through Christ giving one true meaning and lasting satisfaction … or so states the web site. This was the hotspot of activity for St. Patrick when he passed through Dublin on his journey through Ireland baptising converts from Paganism to Christianity in the well where the Cathedral now stands. In memorial, a small wooden church was built on the site to be one of the four Celtic parishes in Dublin. John Comyn, the first Anglo-Norman Archbishop of Dublin converted this small church into a Cathedral in 1191 C.E. THe current Cathedral was erected between 1200 and 1270. Much aging, erosion, degradation, disrepair, and some fires struck the Cathedral through time. Minot’s Tower and the weset nave were rebuilt between 1362 and 1370 following a fire. St. Patrick’s became an Anglican Church of Ireland after the English Reformation (ca. 1537) even though most of the population surrounding it in the Pale was wholely Catholic. During confiscation, some of the images within the Cathedral were defaced by Thomas Cromwell’s soldiers and collapse of the Nave in 1544. Cromwell set up his stables in the Nave during his time in Dublin as a sign of his disrespect for the Anglican religion which he associated with Roman Catholicism and political Royalism. In 1560 one of Dublin’s first public clocks was placed in St. Patrick’s Steeple. In 1666 The roof was close to collapse and was replaced by 1671. When Jonathan Swift (author of Gulliver’s Travels) became the Dean of the Cathedral from 1713-1745 he brought more attention to the needs of the Cathedral. He had himself buried there with his friend Stella who took great interest in the building and funding an almshouse for poor women and Saint Patrick’s Hospital. 1769 the infamous spire (now a Dublin landmark) was added. From 1783 until 1871 the Cathedral became home to the Chapel of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick where the Knights of St. Patrick held their ceremonies until 1871 they moved to St. Patrick’s Hall in Dublin Castle. By 1085 the north transept was in ruin and the south was deteriorating that emergency work had to be done on the nave roof. Funding issues, Problems with seepage of water, number of floods, and disrepair during times of religious reformation and Irish struggles – The Cathedral not being restored until 1860-1900 with a full-scale restoration done by the infamous Guinness family. Benjamin Guinness believed the Cathedral was in imminent danger of collapse especially the Victorian era artwork … unfortunately most of these were removed and never replaced now no longer surviving. Since no records were kept during the restorations not much is known as to what is genuinely medieval and what is Victorian pastiche. Even though the Church is the largest in all of Ireland, it is not the seat of a Bishop as that is held by Christ Church Cathedral with St. Patrick’s being the National Cathedral for the whole island. St. Patrick’s is operated instead by a Dean, since 1219, and the most famous of which was Jonathan Swift. St. Patrick’s was also the location for the funerals of two Irish Presidens: Dr Douglas Hyde and Erskine Hamilton in 1949 and 1974 respectively. In 2006 there was a group of 18 Afghan refugees who sought asylum within St. Patrick’s staying there until persuaded to leave a few days later. The Cathedral receives no State funding so while free for those who come to pray, ask for a small fee in tourism. In 2006 the Cathedral had over 300,000 visitors.

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St. Audeon’s Church

St. Audeon’s
* High Street, Dublin 8, Ireland * * +353 (0)1 677-0088 *

Located right next to Christ Church, St. Audeon’s Church is designated as a National Monument as one of Dublin’s earliest surviving medieval churches. The towere alone is believed to be Ireland’s oldest and its three bells date from 1423. The church has an attractive botanical churchyard with flowers, herbs, shrubs, and plush lawn. Its 15 century nave is intact and the Church is currently undergoing restoration. It stands next to St. Audeon’s Catholic Church (1847). The Churches are in the heart of the walled medieval district and is the only remaining medieval parish church in Dublin. It was dedicated to St. Ouen, the 7th century Bishop of Rouen and Patron Saint of Normandy.

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Christ Church

Christ Church Cathedral
* http://cccdub.ie/ * Dublin, Ireland *

Christ Church also known as the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity was founded in 1030 C.E. in Dublin’s Medieval District and is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. The Cathedral is in Gothic style architecture and is operated by the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough. It is also the cathedral of the Ecclesiastical province of the United Provinces of Dublin and Cashel in the Church of Ireland. Oddly, Christ Church is also officially claimed as the seat of both the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin. Originally Catholic then taken over by the Church of Ireland after the English Reformation. The Church sits next to Wood Quay and is connected to the Dublinia Medieval Museum by means of a dual carriage-way building overpass. The first cathedral was founded after 1028 C.E. after the Hiberno-Norse King of Dublin, King Sitric Silkenbeard made his quest to Rome. Dunan or Donat became the first bishop that answered to Canterbury rather than the Irish Church. THe Church was built on high ground overlooking the Wood Quay Viking Settlement. Secular clergy operated the first cathedral, then in 1163, the Benedictines came in and it was converted to a Priory of the Regular Order of Arrosian Canons (Reformed Augustinian Rule) after some time which was subsequently headed by an Augustinian Prior until re-establishment in 1541 after the English Reformation in 1539. This became the Priory of the Holy Trinity which was the wealthiest religious entity in Ireland possessing over 10,000 acres of land in Dublin alone. The Church became the new church structure of King Henry VIII when he converted the Priory to a Cathedral with a Dean and Chapter. In 1547, King Edward VI suppressed St. Patrick’s Cathedral and had its treasures transferred over to Christ Church. This was reversed by Queen Mary in 1558. Queen Mary I and James I of England increased Christ Church’s funding and assets. By 1560 the Bible had its first reading in English at Christ Church. Repairs and maintenance was performed on the Cathedra from 1829-1831 and then extensively renovated and rebuilt from 1871-1878 by George Edmund Street. This demolished the 14th century choir with a new eastern end and chapter house built over the original crypt, and the tower and south nave arcade was rebuilt. More renovations were achieved from 1980-1982. The Cathedral contains the tomb of the medieval Norman-Welsh warlord Strongbow and is located in the nave. There is some debate on whether or not it really is Strongbow’s tomb as the original tomb was destroyed centuries ago and purported to have moved here. This tomb was used as the venue for legal agreements from the 16th-18th centuries. Behind the organ in the choir is the infamous mummified “Cat and Mouse” that was found trapped there and mummified by the dry air of the cathedral. The cathedral crypt, constructed in 1172-1173, is the largest crypt of its type in all of Britain and Ireland. The Crypt contains the oldest known secular carvings in Ireland, a tabernacle and set of candlesticks used when the cathedral last operated under Roman Rite, the stocks made in 1670 used to punish offenders before the Court of the Dean’s Liberty, and historic books and altar goods.

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St. Michan’s Church, Dublin

St. Michan’s Church
* 8 E Church St * DUBLIN 3, Co. Dublin, Ireland * 01 8724154 *
One of Ireland’s most macabre and spooky sites, St. Michan’s Church is an early Danish chapel that was built in 1095, then reconstructed in 1686 as a church, and may be the only parish church built on the north side of the Liffey that survived from a Viking foundation. The exterior is very bland, but the interior has fine woodworking, a beautifuly 1724 organ, a simple church, and creepy vaults beneath. Underneath the church in its crypts are many naturally mummified remains of the dead so haunting that they inspired Braum Stoker with Dracula. Because the walls of the vaults contain limestone that keep the air dry, the bones were able to preserve on their own – and its dead are infamous as a 400 year old nun, a 6 and 1/2 foot tall man who is thought to be a crusader, and a body with its hands and feet severed – a thief, and the Sheares brothes – Henry and John who were part of the 1798 rebellion. Many claim the church and crypts to be very haunted. Tours are open on Saturdays and some weekdays.

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St. Mary’s Abbey of Dublin

St. Mary’s Abbey
Dublin, Ireland

St. Mary’s Church
On the corner of St. Jervis and Mary Street, St. Mary’s Church of Ireland was one of Ireland’s earliest examples of a galleried church. It was built in the early 18th century, boasting of the Renatus Harris organ and spectacular stained glass windows. As it fell in ruin, it closed its doors in 1964 until it was taken over by John Keating in 1997, restored and re-opened as John M. Keating’s Bar in 2005. By 2007 it became the “Church Bar and Restaurant” as a Cafe, Juice Bar, Night Club, and Barbeque Restaurant. The Church was infamous, as Arthur Guinness was married here in 1761; John Wesley the Founder of the Methodist Church did his first Irish sermon here (1747); it saw the baptisms of Sean O’ Casey the Playwright/Author of ‘The Plough & The Stars’, ‘June & the Paycock’, & ‘The Shadow of a Gunman’; Theobald Wolf Tone; and Jonathan Swift (Author of ‘Gulliver’s Travels’), and the Earl of Charlemont attended service here. Mary Mercer, founder of Mercer’s Hospital and the Hanging Judge Lord Norbury are buried here.

St. Mary’s Abbey
* Meetinghouse Lane, Off Capel Street and Mary’s Abbey Street * Dublin 1, Co. Ireland, Ireland * 01 8721490 *
Down a creepy alley, John our ghost tour guide asks us if we feel unsettled in this very alley. I must admit, something was amiss. This back alley enters into the hidden secret of Dublin – St. Mary’s Abbey, founded in 1130, one of the wealthiest Cistercian Abbey in Ireland. There are only two rooms remaining of the original Abbey – the Chapter House and the Slype. This Abbey had alot of involvement in the affairs of Ireland until it was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539. This is where “Silken” Thomas Fitzgerland began his unsuccessful 1534 rebellion, and is how the Abbey is mentioned in the “Wandering Rocks” chapter of Ulysses by James Joyce. Today it houses a fascinating exhibition constructed by the Public Works and the Dublin Archaeological Society, with Trinity College’s History of Art Department. The Abbey was only recently re-discovered, 7 feet underground, under a bakery in the 1880’s. Some say ghosts walk the alley and can be seen in the remaining rooms of the Abbey. Oddly, perhaps because the bakery above could have housed ghosts, someone leaves bread here all the time that requires the Council to post a sign to “Stop leaving Bread Here”. Please don’t feed the ghosts.

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Hore Abbey

Hore Abbey
Cashel, Ireland

Just 1 km down from the Rock of Cashel is the Hore Abbey, a ruined Cistercian monastery on the Tipperary plains in Southern Ireland. The land was given to the Cistercians by the Benedictines from Archbishop David MacCearbhaill in 1270 C.E. It was built in 1272 C.E. under orders of the then ArchBishop David McCarville. The name for the abbey comes from the term “iubhair” meaning “Yew Tree”. The Latin name of the abbey is “Rupes” meaning “the rock” most likely because of being located near the Rock of Cashel. The abbey came with quite a bit of property including acreage, mills, and other benefices. In 1279 the Abbey was labelled a safe haven of rogues ready to kill the English and plunder the area as described by Margaret le Blunde who detested the Bishop. It was never a prosperous abbey and usually never had more than 5 residing within by the 16th century. He evicted the Benedictines after dreaming that they were going to kill him as he was interfering with the commerce of the city of Cashel. It was probably a delusion, but didn’t stop him from changing over the monastery to a different order. It was dissolved in 1540 C.E. Its annual income at this time was only 21. It was discovered in 1541 by the royal commissioners that the abbey church had been used as a parish church for some time before the Dissolution. In 1545 it was rented to Edward Heffernan, a clerk who used it as a private housing complex. In 1561 Queen Elizabeth gave the land to Sir Henry Radcliffe who then transferred it to the Earl of Ormond, James Butler. By 1575 it came into the hands of Thomas Sinclair, and since then became part of the parish, under property of the earl of Mount-Cashel. It has however fallen into ruins even though the church and sections of the east range still have structure. Architecturally it is quite plain, albeit a sincere historic beauty. It represents the conservative approach of the Cistercians. The grounds are free for the public to visit, although cattle and sheep graze there.

Location: down the road from the Rock of Cashel – Head north on Camus Rd. from King’s Croft road and make first left onto St. Patricksrock – it will be located in a field south of this road. Discovery Map 66: J 069 410.

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Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden
* http://www.kylemoreabbey.com/ * Kylemore, Ireland
“Mainistir na Coille Mire” is one of Connemara’s famous attractions, the Kylemore Abbey with its Victorian Walled Garden is a highlight of history in the area. Nestled in an area of old oakwoods which terrace the mountainside, within the mountainous valley of Kylemore Pass with woodlands and a lake, sits the Abbey as a home to the Benedictine nuns since the 1920’s. The Abbey was built in 1868 by Mitchell Henry in memory of his late wife Margaret in a neo-gothic style as a castle by architects James Franklin Fuller and Ussher Roberts with the aid of 100 men a day. Margaret died of dysentry that she caught while on an expedition to Egypt. The castle took 4 years to complete. It covers over 40,000 square feet with over 70 rooms. There were 33 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 4 sitting rooms, a ballroom, a billard room, a library, study, school room, smoking room, gun room, and various offices and domestic staff residences for the butler, cook, housekeeper, and other servants. Mitchell Henry was a wealthy politician from Manchester, England who was also the MP for Galway Country from 1871-1885. A Gothic Church built by Mitchell Henry and designed by Architect James Franklin Fuller was constructed as a miniature cathedral on the estate. The house was purchased by the Benedictine nuns in 1920 after fleeing from their convent in war-torn Belgium in 1914. They replicated here the same boarding school they were running in Belgium for over 300 years, still schooling to this day. It became one of the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys. The community of nuns who have resided here for 189 years. The south transept has beautiful stained glass tracery windows depicting Fortitude, Faith, Charity, Hope, and Chastity. In front of the altar was a trap door through which coffins were lowered to the vaults below. Due to erosion, the church began to decay. The nuns began restorations in 1991. A mile west of the main Abbey is the 6 acre Victorian Walled Gardens that Mitchell built during the construction of the Castle. This garden was one of the last walled gardens built during the Victorian period in Ireland and the only garden in Ireland that is built in the middle of a bog. The gardens are maintained with 21 huge glasshouses that were originally built to house exotic fruits and plants that were heated by three boilers, one of which doubled as a limekiln.
The Gardens fell into disrepair through the years until the Nuns found grants to repair them. The Gardens were re-opened in 1999. The Garden houses only plants and vegetables that grew in the Victorian era. In the back of the gardens is a tea room providing refreshments for the guests.

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The Black Church (Dublin)

Black Church
* aka: St. Mary’s Chapel of Ease * The Black Church, St. Marys Place, Dublin, Co. Dublin, Ireland? – 01 860 0007? *
St. Mary’s Chapel of Ease was a Gothic Revival Cathedral that was part of the Church of Ireland and located on St. Mary’s Place, in Dublin, Ireland. A chapel of ease is a church building other than the parish church lcoated within the bounds of a parish for those to attend that cannot conveniently reach the main church. This is also known as “The Black Church” and sinisterly looms upon its onlookers in the area. Named “the Black Church” after the black limestone calp it was created from. The Church was designed and founded by John Semple in 1830. Within the Church there is no walls or ceiling, but rather consists of a single parabolic vault. It was the favorite Church of infamous English Poet Sir John Betjeman and the Dubliner Austin Clarke. Clarke claimed in his autobiography that a local legend states that if you went Twice Round the Black Church the Devil would appear. Some say that you have to walk counter clockwise around the Church three times at midnight to summon the Devil. The Church is now closed. took the title for his autobiography from the local legend that the devil would appear if you went Twice Round the Black Church. The church is no longer open and was closed 1962. It is currently used for offices for the Dublin Corporation. The grounds belong to the Earl of Mountjoy.

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Worms Dom (Cathedral) – Worms, Germany

replica monument of the Worms Dom

    Worms Dom (Cathedral)
    The Worms Dom, or “Wormser Dom” is also known as the “Cathedral of St Peter”. This is the principal church and chief building of the city of Worms, Germany. It represents one of the finest Romanesque churches on the Rhine, next to Speyer and Mainz. It consists of a impressive basilica, two large domes with a choir on each end, four round towers, and an imposing exterior of the red sandstone from which it is build and is 110 m long, 27 m wide (36 m including the transepts), and with the nave is 26 meters high, and 40 meters high with the dome. The Catholic diocese that resided here ended in 1800. The only original structure of the church remaining from its original construction in 1110 is the ground plan and lower part of the western towers. The rest was finished by 1181, with the west choir and vaulting completed in the 13th century, south portal in 14th century, and central dome was rebuilt. Ornamentation of the older church was simple with unique sculptures showing salvation stories. The baptismal font contain 5 remarkable reliefs from the late 15th century. The Dom contains the burials of Conrad I (Duke of Carinthia), Conrad II (Duke of Carinthia), Conrad (Duke of Lorraine), Heny of Speyer, and Queen Matilda (d. 1034), consort of Henry I of France and daughter of Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor.

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Cologne Cathedral, Cologne/Koln, Germany

Kln Cathedral

* Cologne, Germany *

Cologne Cathedral is a World Heritage Site and is one of the best known architectural monuments in Germany and Cologne’s most famous. It is 144.5 metres long, 86.5 m wide and its two towers are 157 m tall. The Cathedral (German: Klner Dom, officially Hohe Domkirche St. Peter und Maria) is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne, under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church and is renowned as a monument of Christianity, of Gothic architecture and of the faith and perseverance of the people of the city in which it stands. It is dedicated to Saint Peter and the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is one of the world’s largest churches and the largest Gothic Church in Northern Europe. It was the tallest structure in the world from 1880-1884 until the construction of the Washington Monument. It possessed the second-tallest church spires only surpassed by the single spire of Ulm Cathedral completed in 1890. It holds the position of the largest facade of any church in the world. The church construction began in 1248 and took over 600 years to construct when it was finalized in 1880. It was built atop a grain store that was succeeded by a Roman Temple built by Mercurius Augustus which was followed by 4th century Christian buildings including a square edifice that was commissioned by Maternus as the oldest cathedral at that time. In 1164 the Archbishop of Cologne, Rainald of Dassel acquired relics of the Three Kings which had been taken from Milan in Italy by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa and were properly housed on this spot. The foundation stones laid on August 15, 1248. When construction stopped in the 1800’s, it wasn’t until 1842 that a civic effort raised two thirds of the enormous costs to resume work on the original design of the surviving medieval plans and drawings and the bells were installed in the 1870s. The completion in 1880 was celebrated as a national event, 632 years after construction began. The cathedral suffered fourteen hits by aerial bombs during World War II. It did not collapse, but stood tall in an otherwise flattened city. Believers said it was divine intervention. In June 1945, the cathedral was abused as a rifle range by American troops. The repairs to the building were completed in 1956. On August 25, 2007, the cathedral received a new stained glass in the south transept window. With 113 square metres of glass, the window was created by the German artist Gerhard Richter. In 1996, the cathedral was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List of culturally important sites. In 2004 it was placed on the “World Heritage in Danger” list due to nearby high-rise building and its visual impact upon the site, as the only Western site in danger. The cathedral was removed from the List of In Danger Sites in 2006, following the authorities’ decision to limit the heights of buildings constructed near and around the cathedral. The cathedral is open every day from 6.00am to 7.30pm; admission is free except for tower ascent and the treasury. Visitors can climb 509 steps of the spiral staircase to a viewing platform about 98 metres above the ground. [abstracted from Wikipedia and the Cathedral’s information pamphlets : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cologne_Cathedral]

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Cologne/Koln, Germany

River promenade in Kln

State: North Rhine-Westphalia; Area: 405.15 km (156.4 sq mi); Elevation: 37 m (121 ft) above sea level; Population: 995,397 (31 December 2007); Founded: 50 AD. Website: www.stadt-koeln.de

Cologne (German: Kln (helpinfo), IPA: [kln]; local dialect: Klle [?k??]) is Germany’s fourth-largest city (after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich), and is the largest city both in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants. It is one of the oldest cities in Germany, having been founded by the Romans in the year 38 BC. Cologne was granted the status of a Roman “city” in the year 50 AD. The city is one of Rhineland’s most spectacular cultural centers and is located along the Rhine River and most famous for its media, art, theater, mimes, shopping, fashion, the Cologne Cathedral (Klner Dom) and the University of Cologne (Universitt zu Kln) which is one of Europe’s oldest universities. Cologne has over 30 museums and hundred of art galleries. The exhibitions range from local art, theater, and local ancient Roman archeological sites to contemporary graphics and sculpture. The city’s Trade Fair Grounds are host to a number of trade shows such as the Art Cologne Fair, the International Furniture Fair (IMM) and the Photokina. Cologne is also well-known for its celebration of Cologne Carnival, the annual reggae summerjam, and the gay/lesbian pride festival Christopher Street Day (CSD).

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Lady of the Rhine, Part 2: Chapter 7, Morning – Exploring Kln, Kln Cathedral, April Fools

, Morning

By the Kln Cathedral

Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Kln, Germany

Awaking relatively early, yet having a little of a sleep in; the adventuring parties of Sir Christian, Sir Thomas Leaf, and Princess Brea ventured out to the fabled city of Kln (Cologne) for searching clues in the Kln Cathedral, German Roman Museum, and the Chocolate Museum. Venturing out to the autobahn in the carriage with preferable unlimited speed limit … the party was there in no time. However, traffic congestion and an accident made things slow like molasses.

Brea and a romantic Mime

It was officially “April Fools Day” and as Lady Vanessa informed Sir Thomas and Lady Brea about the fabled prank that the press pulled on the citizens of Kln … that the two spired wonder of the Cathedral in Kln which is infamously under construction, was in fact not being restored, but rather being built a “third” spire with the city’s unlimited funding. Apparently the joke did not go over very well. The party adventured up the steps towards the main entrance, where a half a dozen mimes dressed in various “period” clothing and body paint were doing their acts, posing for photos, making the minute mime noise when they want your attention with birdish tweets and sparrow whistles, and collecting their Euros. A couple grabbed Princess Brea’s moments as they flirted with the young lady and as Sir Thomas Leaf captured it on film. Wandering into the World Heritage site of the Kln Cathedral, the adventuring party explored the grounds in search of “the key”. Some murals and panels had interesting facts and history. The buried tombs and coffins of many a night and clergy lay round the arms and loop of the cathedral. Inspiring decorated stained glass, gold and metalwork, paintings, and sculpted art brought brilliance to the party as they quietly explored the church. After explorations, they followed a large group of historically dressed elderly that seemed to be off to some wedding or event. The symphony grounds enroute to the river had 9 security guards protecting a piazza from entrance even though nothing was in the bricked space or any activity suggesting there would be something. Perhaps an April Fool’s joke? Onward to the River, enroute to the Chocolate Museum to see if the “key” was there.

One of the Piazza / street painters doing a Unicorn chalk painting

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