Tuesday, October 12, 2010

St. Dominic Abbey

With my leaving day approaching, on the 14th, I finally got inside te abbey ruins that was around the town center. The abbey's name is St. Dominic's Abbey and lies in a street of the same name. Well, not exactly the same name. Sráid Ministreach; The Abbey's Street.
It was indeed a beautiful morning, with shiny sun and not much winds except of a breeze, but it was cold as well. I went out today without wearing my jacket. I realized later on I would get sweaty and hot with the jacket and actually it adds to my burden when I work and walk, as in everyday so far. It was chilly and my thumb specially got almost frozen, but with time and some walking in the sun, got me almost to normal.
I reached the abbey after some 15 minutes of walking or so. I went around the abbey trying to find some sign or some way to get in. I did that for like, 5 times or so. My host actually told me that there was a sign as a guide on how or where to get the key to get inside the abbey. Finally, one lady came out from the next door house and asked me if I want to go inside, and I said yes! She handed me the key then after going inside her home to get it and told me to put it in some box when I finish.

In my roaming around the abbey, I did take some separate shots for different angles of the abbey, and also a shot through the bars of the gate for the inside. I did a little vertical panorama for one of the walls which was topped with a little tower or some kind of observatory. I was so close to the wall that I couldn't make up for one shot for this view, and I really loved this angle of view. I have to do it back home when I have the chance as my laptop is not equipped at all. I almost feel naked when I work with it.

However, in the inside of the abbey there were 2 main halls or yards. One which was in the front and can be viewed through the main gate of the abbey, and full of graves (but not much standing gravestones), and the other one was somehoew viewable from te main gate in the front but it was inside and you would need to get over some steps to get to it. I made a panorama for each hall of those and then wandered around shooting some random single images.

Some flowers on the top of a high wall of the abbey.

One of the most interesting features I've noticed in this abbey actually is, some paganic-like symbols or statues. Being not Christian myself, I did ask a friend who is a Christian and they said it does look like some paganic like symbol of fertility, although I always thought such symbol should be a feminine one and not a masculine like this one;


The question is, what does such a shape or statue do in such an abbey? The abbey dates back to the 1200s when it was first built. It had been reconstrcuted several times though, but definitely this thing is so so old from the way it looks, and feels. The other significant thing here as well is that, in this abbey and in Hore Abbey which I visited yesterday, there were many graves for people died in the 1800s and specifically around the 30s of that era or maybe 50s I'm not sure because the old gravestones are hard to read big time. I think most of these graves from that era belong to victims of the great Irish famine back in the 1800s although I'm not sure of the years of the famine but it happened back then in the 1800s. 
Beside that little (relatively) statue there was another statue or idol of some sort in a shape of a head as it seems but its features were completely, almost, abandoned...

 It is such weird to see these shapes inside such an abbey. The structure of the abbey is actually fascinating and there are some traces that you can see there were for arcs inside the abbey but eventually with all that time since the 1200s and re-building again and again, lot of these features are lost. All you can see is some lines as traces of some structures or broken columns. My panorama should tell better, hopefully. 

As for now, my plans for tomorrow, my last day in the Thornbrook house, is to take a walk without my camera and all the heavy loads and then simply get back home and start sorting things out and putting my stuff in the suitcase. By the day after tomorrow, I shall be in Cahir and probably I won't log in online from there, but I do have a little thing to do with the interior of the castle, hoping that tourists are not condensed there to make my work even harder.

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