St. Colman's Cathedral
St. Colman's Cathedral. Built in 1868-1915. Neo-French Gothic.
Returning to Cobh from our shore excursion to Blarney, Cork and Kinsale, we passed several sites of note. One was the Father Mathew Tower (1846). The tower was built to honour Theobald Matthew (1790-1856), a temperance reformer, popularly known as Father Matthew. Another was the Clonmel Church (The Old Church), a ruin today. The graves of 193 victims of the Lusitania sinking are in the Old Church Cemetery. (Lusitania was torpedoed off the Old Head of Kinsale in May 1915.) I had not known of the connection between Cobh and Lusitania before.
In Cobh proper, we stopped to visit St. Colman's Cathedral. The Cathedral Church of St. Colman (Cobh Cathedral) is relatively new as Gothic Cathedrals go. It was designed by architects Edward Pugin and George Ashlin who designed a number of Victorian era churches in Ireland. Construction began in 1868 and was finished in 1915 with the completion of the tower. It is in French Gothic style, inspired by Amiens and Rheims Cathedrals. The church was part of the revival and rebuilding of Irish Catholic churches during the 19th century. Understandably, the diocese wanted to make a statement now that a large and elaborate cathedral could be built. St.
Tympanum Over the Main Entrance
St. Colman's Cathedral. Tympanum over the main entrance.
Colman was an Irish bard of the 6th Century. After his conversion, he founded a monastic settlement and was the first Bishop of Cloyne. The cathedral overlooks Cobh Harbour and stands out as a landmark of the city. Inside, the Gothic arches of the nave are supported by slender marble pillars. An elaborately carved wooden pulpit is midway in the nave. A rose window dominates the entrance.
Cobh is the passenger port for Cork. Before Irish independence Cobh was known as Queenstown and traditionally it was the last European port of call for westbound transatlantic steamers (and the first for eastbound ships). Cobh is associated with many aspects of passenger liner history. It was the last port of call for Titanic in April 1912. Lusitania was headed for Queenstown. Queenstown was also the embarkation point for generations of Irish emigrants traveling to the United States, Canada and other parts of the world.
Dockside is the Cobh Titanic Experience, a museum of the impact of the loss of Titanic on Queenstown/Cobh. (One hundred twenty-three passengers boarded Titanic at Queenstown.) The 19th century Cobh railway station has been repurposed as the Cobh Heritage Centre. The Heritage Centre is a museum
St. Colman's Cathedral. High altar.
of Irish emigration, the Famine, and Irish naval and military history. Passenger trains continue to arrive from and depart to Cork. The frequent train service gives cruise ship passengers not booking a shore excursion an opportunity to visit Cork city for the day.
The residents of Cobh appear no less enthused about the appearance of contemporary passenger ships. As Caribbean Princess prepared to sail, the Cobh Town Band came down to play for us. Six reenactors in period attire came over from the Titanic Experience to also bid us farewell. Caribbean Princess responded in kind by sounding the traditional three blasts from its whistle as we cast off. The ship gave a similar salute as we passed Roache's Point Lighthouse on the way out to the Irish Sea.
As wee sailed form Cobh, the gloomy overcast that had persisted much of the day finally cleared. A rainbow formed an arch over Cobh harbour, one end touching St. Coleman's Cathedral.
Tot: 0.289s; Tpl: 0.043s; cc: 16; qc: 53; dbt: 0.0159s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb