Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"Carved in Stone"

That phrase gets so much use in modern parlance, but at one time it actually meant something. In the period before printing, stone carvings were used to inform and educate. The Celtic High Crosses are carved with Bible stories and used by the missionary monks to teach the pagan populace the legends of Christianity. The pictures below are decorative and in some cases informational. The carvings at The Rock of Cashel span the ages from 1100 to the mid 1600s. I wanted to expand a bit on the few I posted earlier, because I think they are truly beautiful.

These shots were taken in Cormac's Chapel, the 12th century structure I mentioned earlier in the Rock of Cashel posting. The carvings here were different - less Christian and more Celtic and probably represent the conversion of the region that was going on during that period in time. The guide said no one could name the animal carved over the door, but it sure looks like a hippopotamus to me.








These carvings are mostly from the period of 1400 to 1600. The first shot is dated at 1574 which you can clearly see in the upper right corner. I found the crypt lid carving of the interned nobleman, his coat of arms at his head, quite impressive.








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