Exploring early mediaeval churches in Eirann

Travel:Exploring early mediaeval churches in Eirann

I visited this crumbling relic, the largest and oldest remaining church in the Irish village of Glendalough in 2009. It was one of the largest known early Christian churches in Ireland. The church was originally dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul but ceased to be a cathedral in 1214. The large rectangular stones at the bottom may be 10th century in date and the upper stones from the 11th century. (Information taken from an informative plaque at the site of the church).

Exploring early mediaeval churches in Eirann
One of the oldest remaining churches in Glenadough, Ireland. Photo by A.Dennis, 2009.

Entering into these crumbling ruins you gather together a feeling of awe and beauty at the heavenly bodies above and the human lives that have lived long before all of us, existing now below. This place was enchanted and magical because it speaks to the hearts of the people who enter it. There is a sense of the sublime in all of the crumbling ruins and of a cataclysmic joining of pagan mysticism with early Christianity, during a time when the two ways of being weren’t at war with each other, but were finding their way and evolving alongside each other. The magic of the old ways certainly holds more sway for me and for many other people who consider that paganism and being closer to the seasons changing and mother earth is more magical than sitting inside of a church. Although in saying that, there is an unmistakable magic and a hushed reverence about being inside of a church or cathedral. If god resides anywhere it would be underneath of a forest canopy, inside of a thriving reef or in the pews of an ancient cathedral.

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