A Day in the City

Trip Start Jan 01, 2013
Trip End Jun 01, 2013

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Flag of Ireland  , County Cork,
Monday, January 14, 2013

Since all of our friends were visiting this week and we had gone to Blarney and the Distillery, we decided it would be a good idea to just explore the city and go to St. Finbarr's Cathedral and St. Anne's Church to ring the famous Shandon Bells. First off was St. Finbarr's which is very close to UCC and only a 15-20 minute walk from our dorm. Just viewing the cathedral from the front is amazing, it is also strange to see this French gothic architecture in Cork, but it somehow fits in perfectly with the city. 

 According to it's history, there was a competition to design the church held in 1862 and was won by William Burges. The building took seven years to build and the first service was held in 1870, but carving and decoration continued into the 20th century. To enter the cathedral it is normally four euros for adults and three euros for students, but UCC students get to go in for free, the reason for the charge is because just maintaining St. Finbarr's takes an enormous amount of money, but paying to enter is more than worth it. The inside is breathtaking, we luckily came at midday and got to see the sun hitting the stain glass, which is amazing. After we left we went to see the exterior of the church from the back which is a great view. 

 After we saw St. Finbarr's we walked to St. Anne's which is near the city centre and around a 10 minute walk from St. Finbarr's.Along the walk to the top on the different floors, the history of the church is explained including the fact that the bells still bear their original inscriptions, including the following: 
"When is you ring we'll sweetly sing" "Since generosity has opened our mouths our tongues shall sing aloud its praise."

 On the floor just before the balcony, you get a chance to ring the Bells. There are a list of songs you can play including "Amazing Grace," "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," "The Bells of Shandon," and many others. The disent to the balcony is not for the faint of heart, you have to duck under pillars and walk almsot directly under the bells and wear special ear muffs to protect your ears. If someone plays the bells as your walking near them be prepared it is very loud. That being said, my favorite part by far of the Shandon Bells was the view from the balcony of Cork City and the countryside. It is beautiful and without a doubt one of my favorite things I have done in the city yet, if you are in the city it is a must! 


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