Friday 12 April 2013

K... is for Kirk!

Kirk is the Scottish word for Church, and oh my, do they build them well here! As part of tourism, various volunteering activities, and just being poor because I'm a student, I've been to a lot of kirks here. Usually, they would have been built by one king or another queen, either for their own private prayers or as part of a celebration/coronation.
For example, St. Margaret's Chapel, which was probably a personal prayer house, is the oldest surviving structure in Edinburgh, having been built in the 12th century. On the other hand, built during the same period is the massive 'High Kirk of Edinburgh' or St. Giles' Cathedral. It was primarily built for public use and is also called the 'Mother Church of Presbyterianism'.
I've been to both... and while I've been to some other too, these two, visited within two weeks of one another brought out some stark similarities; the damp cold stones, the beautifully carved/painted ceiling, the quiet that is mildly perturbed by the whispers of centuries, the altar... very very imposing facades that house God in all his marvellous glory. I'm not religious at all, but because I went to a convent Catholic followed by a missionary Methodist school, I had my fair share of Jesus storied drilled into me.
Visiting kirks is, thus, a beautiful way to spend an afternoon here.

Stained Glass - St. Giles'

Ceiling - St. Giles'

Chapel at my school - it was a beautiful building wasted on a terrible school.

This post is part of the ongoing A-to-Z Challenge. Previously, AyeBerwickCramondDisabilityEdinburghForth BridgeGlasgowHamishIsle of Skye, John o' Groats.

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