I know you can’t tell it from the pictures, but by the time we left Trim Castle, the weather was horrible. We discussed whether it makes any sense to drive to the site of the oldest remains of civilization in Ireland – the Megaliths. Finally, we decided that we’ll make our way to the Loughcrew Cairns and then decided whether we felt like getting out of the car.
We did, and I couldn’t be more thankful to my friends who brought me there! Yes, muddy and rainy, and we had to climb the hills in the pouring rain, but it would be unforgiving if I would not use a chance to connect to these pieces of history,
Everything about them is unknown: who, when, and why put so much work into bringing the stones from all over Ireland into one place and worked so carefully on positioning the whole structure in accordance with the movement of the sun.
Standing there, I felt the presence of unknown forces, both empowered and humiliated simultaneously…
This post was sitting in the drafts for almost a month. So many things happened after I traveled to Ireland! However, I still wanted to show the pictures of the city of Trim and its amazing Castle! The city is very beautiful and very Medieval (I believe it is considered a city with the most Medieval building in Ireland.
My last day in Ireland was all about ancient history. First, we visited the Hill of Tara:
I know that pictures tell nothing about this place. It’s a feeling. It’s not that often that you visit a Christian site dated the 5th century A.D., but knowing that the place had a special meaning even during the Stone Age, gives it all a new perspective.
Back to my third day in Ireland: after visiting Glendalough National Park, we drove to Kilkenny – a small town with a gorgeous castle! Kilkenny Castle has a rich history, being continuously occupied for over 800 years. It’s even harder to imagine that for more than half of that period, it belonged to one family. The last owner handed the castle to the state so that it would become a museum and not turn into ruins, as many Irish castles did.
Currently, most of the castle rooms represent the later stage of the castle’s history, with elaborate furniture and decorations.
Sure, it was funny, cool, and special to visit a museum on the street with my name:
But regardless of the name, the house’s history is remarkable, and the museum is extremely interesting. That’s what I have been repeating to myself for the last couple of weeks since I returned from Ireland: yes, these days, you can find all information on the internet, but I would never think about looking up this information if I won’t visit Ireland, and if my incredible friends won’t take me everywhere!
So, back to Henrietta’s street. In the 1700s, it was a place where noble Irish families lived, and this particular house was occupied by the family of Lord Viscount Molesworth. But after 1801, when the power moved to London, and all noble families followed, this house went through major transformations. After being used for different offices, in 1876, the building was bought to be converted into a rental property. Shame on me, but I didn’t know that “communal apartments” were not invented in the Soviet Union. Apparently, in Dublin, a tenement was an 18th or 19th-century townhouse adapted to house multiple families. Thus, Henrietta Street 14, instead of being a home for one family, became a home for over 100 people.
The museum shows all stages of the house’s history: several 18th-century restored rooms would give an idea of how the Lords lived, and several restored flats represent different living conditions for families on different socio-economical levels.
I took very few pictures because I was very busy listening to the tour. It is astonishing how much life in the tenements was similar to life in the “communal apartments” in the Soviet Union.
During my first full day in Ireland, I walked more than 30,000 steps!
I know you do not have to visit Ireland to learn about the Book of Kells, and most like, it would be better if I knew about it beforehand – then, I could be more appreciative in advance of what I was going to see. In case you are like me and had never heard about it before, it’s an amazing 800 A.D. manuscript containing four canonic gospels (BTW, I thought that the four gospels were canonized later, but that happened in the 4th century!) This amazing manuscript was produced by four monks who copied the text and three illustrators.
The wiki page for the Book of Kells reproduces a lot of illustrations and provides a lot of historic contexts. And obviously, you can’t take pictures of the book itself, so that’s the only way you can have an idea of how it looks like. Just one thing I want to say – it feels surreal when you think you are looking at the book produced 1200 years ago and think about real-life humans who did it!
Here are some pictures from the exhibition about the Book of Kells:
I am on my way to Helsinki from Paris, and tomorrow, I will fly back to Chicago. There are 400+ photos in my picture gallery, and I know that the moment I am back in Chicago, other things will take priority. That’s why I will try to show more while I am still en route.
Going back to my first day in Dublin, I discovered that the air temperature felt different than in Chicago, and what I thought of as late spring weather was anything but. The first day was the warmest, even with the strong winds from the sea.
On Saturday, my friends took me to two places outside Dublin. The first place we visited was Glendalough National Park. First of all, it’s an exceptionally beautiful park, the nature is amazing, there are hills, lakes, waterfalls, and old trees. Most important, however, is that it is the oldest monastic site, founded in the 6th century!