Sunday, March 13, 2016

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh, Northern Ireland

Recently, I came across these pictures among our many hundreds of old photographs.  My husband had taken these snaps on a business trip to his company facility in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland.  While there, he visited Armagh, the county town of Armagh County and a civil parish.  The town of Armagh is the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland.  Following are some pictures of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh.

The cathedral is built in the French Gothic style.

St. Patrick, holding a shamrock.  In preaching to the people of Ireland, St. Patrick used the shamrock to demonstrate the nature of the Holy Trinity.

I'm amazed at all the detail inside this church.

Of course the windows are spectacular.

Can you see the figures in the small glass panes at the very top (perhaps the heavenly host)?

I love this picture.  You can see the pipes of the William Telford pipe organ, and the sun coming through the window is so brilliant, it feels as if God himself is present in the light.  You can also get a glimpse of the magnificent ceiling in this picture.

Here's a closeup of the ceiling; unfortunately the image is really blurred.  I sharpened it as best I could -- hopefully you can get the general idea of it's intricacies.  The curved squares in the very top are tile mosaics.  The mural over the white arch represents St. Patrick converting and baptizing the Irish people.

All this colorful stonework is truly amazing.  In 1887, the new Primate of Armagh, Cardinal Michael Logue, began many updates and improvements to St. Patrick's Cathedral. The most striking of  Cardinal Logue's additions were the scheme of mosaics he had commissioned to cover every inch of blank wall in the cathedral.  Those colorful and intricate mosaics are what you see in the above pictures.

A different exterior view of the church,

and here is the window seen from the inside.  Notice the beautiful mosaics above the window.

Above is another spectacular window.  Hal must have been here at a perfect time of day because the sunlight pouring through these windows was lovely.

Another interesting feature of this cathedral is the carved relief you see in the picture above.  In 1875,  Archbishop McGettigan, who preceded Cardinal Logue as Primate of St. Patrick's, commissioned a unique set of 14 Stations of the Cross from Herbert and Co. of Liverpool.  These Stations of the Cross were cast in plaster and erected around the walls of the cathedral.  That looks like gold leaf behind the sculptures -- what do you think?

These images are somewhat blurry too, but I wanted to share them anyway.

Some of the photos were just too blurry to use, so there are only 10 of the 14 Stations of the Cross represented here.

You can see more of the exquisite mosaic tile work in these pictures.

By comparison to the ornate cathedral, above is the Methodist church in Armagh.  We belong to the Methodist church here, but I'm guessing the protestant church is not a big deal in Armagh.  ;)

Above is the observatory and planetarium in Armagh.

This seems to be a sort of chart to designate the summer and winter solstices and the time period in between.  I've never seen one of these before.

Hal probably took this picture for me because I love the cheerful red post boxes in the U.K.  This one looks pretty with the planter of colorful primroses in the background.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of Armagh and St. Patrick's cathedral in the week before St. Patrick's Day.  Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.

I'm linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Judith at Lavender CottageThank you for hosting the party, Judith!  Linking to Amaze Me Monday -- thank you for hosting Cindy!



  1. The juxtaposition between the cathedral and the humble church is quite striking. I do love beautiful archictecture, but oh the cost for the lowly practitioner. It's looking very much like St. Pat's Day in here!

  2. Such intricate detail and workmanship in the cathedral. It's beautiful and I hope it draws the onlooker and participant closer to God. The contrast between it and the chapel is marked. Wonderful photos!

  3. Thank you for sharing your pictures of St. Patrick's cathedral. The art and architecture are stunning. I loved looking at all the stained glass windows, mosaics and woodwork, so beautiful. The peaceful feeling of a house of worship comes through the pictures. Happy St. Patrick's day to you!☘

  4. Hello, wonderful images. Saint Patricks Cathedral is beautiful. Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you!

  5. I would be drawn to the windows...what beautiful colors and scenes! Happy Monday! Hugs, Diane

  6. Beautiful pictures and nice to see the cathedral. It always amazes me to think of the work on such an edifice, before there was much modern machinery. Their beauty brings glory to God. So the last shot of the post box and the flowers alongside is just wonderful!

  7. Beautiful piccies thank you for sharing Happy Mosaic Monday

  8. Thank you for the beautiful pictures of St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh. Beautiful windows and amazing architecture. I know it was wonderful experience to photograph the gorgeous cathedral. I would be in awe.

  9. What beautiful architecture you've shared with us, Denise. I would love to go back to Ireland one day, maybe with my sister.
    May you have a lovely week! xo

  10. Although I wasn't in this cathedral in Ireland I was in others that were opulent beyond imagination. Coming from a humble church without windows, I admire intricate stained glass and of course the architecture of old buildings like these.
    Why can't we have fancy post boxes like this red one? :-)

  11. These are amazing pictures. I've never seen anything like this in person so I enjoy seeing the pictures. What a striking contrast between the two churches.



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