Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Pilgrimage to Athlone

This was the first time that we had made a pilgrimage to Athlone.  The magnificent Church of Ss. Peter and Paul, sometimes known as the Cathedral of the Shannon, is a major landmark at the central point of Ireland, at the main crossing of the Shannon, which divides the Country roughly in half, east and west, by the main road between Dublin and Galway that joins the east coast to the west and divides the Country roughly in half, north and south.  The town straddles two provices (Leinster and Connacht), two Counties (Westmeath and Roscommon), and two Dioceses (Ardagh & Clomnacnoise and Elphin).

The Church was completed in 1937 and, like many post-Independence Churches, is in a fusion of styles - Galway Cathedral being the high point of the fusion movement - Doric and Baroque.  The Doric is most obvious in the stark exterior, a restrained Baroque more notable in the interior that has a range of marble features, still complete.  Several fine Harry Clarke windows are in place.  It is one of the most complete and most harmonious Churches in the Country, being built and decorated to a single design in one project.

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