In Search of Icons Hidden in a Monastery (Galway, Ireland)

At the Fishing Museum we were told of a ‘secret’ cemetery hidden in the San Franciscan monastery where we have to ring the bell and “they might let you in!”

The Monastery was a bit challenging to find. Our first attempt led us into an old folk’s home where the confused girl who let us in said, “Well, I don’t really know what you want to see. There is a cemetery here but it’s not…” Her voice trailed off and she pointed. It was indeed much newer than 11th century and, as she noted, rather non-spectacular.

The next place looked like it might be ‘the place’ so I timidly rang the bell. A disembodied woman’s voice instructed us to go around the front and enter through the alcove.The San Franciscan Monastery that has 10th century icons hidden inside in Galway, Ireland We followed her instructions and came into a walled area surrounding a small church. Following along the side wall we passed an office containing a man in a monk’s robe.

We decided to disturb him with our questions and he intoned the same as the girl in the previous building, “Well, I don’t really know what you want to see. Perhaps if you’re looking for family? No. Well we do have some old religious stuff out there but I don’t know how interesting it’d be…”Al talking to the Father in the San Franciscan Monastery in Galway, IrelandHe took us out and there they were, ancient carvings embedded in a cement wall. Father Patrick told us they had been put there to protect them from the weather but admitted that they might be better off inside a church where people could see them.

The icons from 900 years ago..
10th century icons hidden inside a San Franciscan Monastery in Galway, Ireland10th century icons hidden inside a San Franciscan Monastery in Galway, Ireland10th century icons hidden away in a San Franciscan monastery in Galway, IrelandEven though we were in total awe over these pieces Father Patrick told us we really should stop at the Cathedral, that it was more impressive, and so that was our next stop (after a sunlit weir or two).
The river in Galway, IrelandArtsy bit for this post, run through the photo app Snapseed.
10th Century Icons in Galway in Ireland, run through the photo app SnapseedNext: Off to see the cathedral followed by a lovely dinner at Il Vicolo.

More on our 2015 trip to Ireland.

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4 responses to “In Search of Icons Hidden in a Monastery (Galway, Ireland)

  1. Pingback: Galway, Ireland: St Patrick’s Cathedral and Dinner at Il Vicolo | Albatz Travel Adventures·

  2. Pingback: A Previously Unexplored Part of Galway | Albatz Travel Adventures·

  3. Pingback: The Salt House, a Craft Beer Mecca in Galway | Albatz Travel Adventures·

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