Monday, July 4, 2016

Gallarus Oratory

We visited Gallarus in 2009, but lots of things in Ireland are well worth seeing twice. Gallarus was a small church built in about the 7th century. It is the only remaining intact version of a rectangular corbeled building in Ireland. (Some of the beehives remain, as do several corbeled megalithic tombs, round, which are of course several thousands of years older...). Anyhow, the corbeling here, you'll note, means it's built floor to top in inclined stones, no roof, just an inclining wall that somehow stays up while leaning in. I always figured they's meet at the top, sort of like an arch, but no, they don't meet, and, at Gallarus, the inclining walls are simply surmounted by 8 capstones. It is all dry-stone work, no mortar, no rebar. The skill involved in making something like this is incredible. That it has stayed up more than a millennium is even more incredible.
But first, a word about the fuschias on Dingle; they grow in
huge hedges, go on and on and on; and we thought they only
came in hanging baskets!

Gallarus Oratory

A marker adjacent to the building

Inside, looking up--you can see the capstones; the walls don't
touch

Outside

The 8 capstones

Pretty incredible place

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