The other day saw me taking the bus up to Cork city, it had been two years since something like this happened and it excited me more than a little. A bus ride always reminds me of travel and of course that is what has been missing in most of our lives and especially in mine. The unromantic reason for the journey was an hospital appointment, but I did try to look upon it as a little adventure, and yet I did not expect to feel so free and refreshed by walking through the city, it had not been my intention!
It was a journey of necessity, it turned into a pleasant and relaxing experience.
Historically speaking, this beautifully ornamented building is found in what was one of the main financial centres of Cork City. It is found on the South Mall and has recently been restored to its former glory. It is a branch of the Allied Irish Bank, the building was constructed between 1863 and 1865. To say a few words about the South Mall, this street is in the location of a former river channel and some of its 18th century buildings retain evidence of street-level boat houses which fascinates me but I have not photographed any of it to date.
The red brick houses form a terrace dating back to the beginning of the nineteenth century, one wonders if they could have been old merchant houses lining the river? The bridge (St.Patrick’s) takes people and cars over the river Lee connecting Saint Patrick’s street and Bridge Street, and upwards to Patrick’s hill which is very steep. The bridge is built from limestone, and it’s a 158 years old. The interesting bit I read is that this bridge was originally set up to provide the butter merchants with a good link between the North side of the river and the warehouses and docks in the centre of the city.
What we saw when we stopped for coffee in Carey’s lane in the heart of the city, was part of the present Saint Peter and Saint Paul church, which has been built on the site of the original parish chapel which served the centre of Cork city centuries ago. But what we see now dates to the beginning of the 19th century when a larger church was built in neo-Gothic architecture. It is said to have some fine features, but I have not been inside. Some of these appear to be the altar which is made from Sicilian marble, and the apse which is highly decorated, including blue and gold ceiling panels and beautiful stained glass windows. Russian oak has been used to create the pulpit and some of the carpenters were said to have been Flemish and Irish. Just as a note of interest, Gregorian masses are still being sang every Sunday at 12noon. (Photo above)
I always enjoy going up to the city of Cork, it is the nearest city to us and takes two hours driving these days because of road works among other things. But as of any city the history is always so very interesting even if it is only bits and pieces.
I was very lucky today because I seldom go to Cork city these days, it so happened that for the past few days I was there, unfortunately most of that time was spent with Ian in hospital, but while on the way back from parking the car in the multi-story carpark I took these snaps today. Most importantly Ian was seen to and is doing fine, and we are home again tonight. But as you can see for yourselves Cork, which is the largest city in County Cork, and to us the nearest city, an eighty minutes drive on a good day (without roadwork stops), it is above all a beautiful and charming city. Population is only about 417,211 souls. Cork was originally a Viking trade settlement around the year 915 and is now a thriving and very popular place to shop and visit.
The river flowing through Cork, the river Lee, flows from a lake in Gougane Barra in the Shehy mountains on the Western border of county Cork, it winds its way down other lakes and eventually reaches Cork city where it splits into two, creating an island on which the centre of the city is built.
A lot more could be told about this lovely river but I will carry on and show you today’s photos of the views I enjoyed so much and which I hope you will enjoy too.
Another iron bridge, this time it is just a narrow foot bridge, very much in use!
Here are some interesting and beautiful gables along the streets near the Lee river, I could not resist taking some photos of these too. Just love that gate!
A fanlight is a feature of Georgian architecture, it is found of course in England, but it is also found in Ireland, and I think it is a beautiful feature. It is a semicircle window above a main door, it is called a fanlight because several panes radiate like a fan outwards. While it is a useful addition to any hall, it is also very decorative and in Ireland efforts are made to preserve these features in the many Georgian style houses.
While I was in Cork city the other day, I took some photos with my mobile phone. I think these features are so nice and interesting. I had to go and look up information on them and did not even know that they were called fanlights, I only knew that you see these features a lot in Irish cities. Fanlights originated in England during George I (1714), and fettered by the year 1901. But in Ireland, the use of these fanlights lasted longer. Especially in the eighteen hundreds though they were a frequent architectural feature to be seen in Dublin, also in Cork and other cities.
During the nineteen seventies a poster was produced featuring some of the beautiful fanlights in Dublin, it is very popular to this day. There are still many Georgian houses found in Dublin, also quite a few in Cork, fanlights only being one of it’s Georgian features of course. Many of these houses are now neglected and some are almost derelict, efforts are being made to restore them, many, however have been demolished in the past. But equally many have been restored and there still remain quite a variety of fanlights and they are very appealing to the eye. It is also good to know some of the history behind it. The fact that they started out as a useful feature, then became a decorative feature and remain like that today. What I see today in modern doors is that the idea of a fanlight is actually build into the door and in this way throws light into the hall, that is, of course, not half as beautiful (just my thought).
I took my photos along the Dyke Parade in Cork city. At some future date I would love to explore the city much more and make many more photos.