November 18, 2008

Dublin, Ireland: Dublinia

Once we'd had our fill of Saint Patrick's Cathedral, we walked down the street towards Christchurch Cathedral. These two are only a stone's throw from one another, which seems kinda strange since most cities appear to have only one major cathedral. If they have more than one, they are spread out so as to better serve the people.

Luckily for us, there is an exhibit, Dublinia, contained in Synod House, which is connected to Christchurch via bridge. The entire set, house, bridge and cathedral, are constructed of stone and connect together seamlessly. Within this exhibit is a section that shows the old borders for the medieval city; this demonstrated that Christchurch was inside the old city walls while Saint Patrick's was outside of them. So although they were always very close together, they did serve two different sets of people.

At the beginning of the exhibit was this mural:

It's scene is that of Black Monday, when hundreds of residents left the walled city to enjoy the environs...only to be ambushed by those who lived outside the walls. The city residents were unarmed and therfore killed.


After that lovely sight visitors to Dublinia take a walk through a typical market. There are stalls for just about everything. We saw a pie stall (you know, the meat and fish kind), a clothing stall, and this medicine tent:

Another section of the exhibit was a typical man's house, which showed a medieval kitchen:

It's no wonder people got sick all the time, what with the dead game and fowl just hangin' from the rafters like that.
There were all sorts of minconceived notions regarding heath in those days. People thought that a bath could kill you, and apparently, they thought you didn't need to fully cook food in order to rid it of toxins. Nope, your stomach could do that for you:

Jeepers! My stomach, the cauldron. Just how I want my food prepared!

Towards the end of the Dublinia exhibit is a Viking World section. I found this part interesting since I don't know all that much about vikings and the like. It began with an enormous Viking ship:

The Viking section was fun since, like Dublinia, there were some hands-on activities for children and adults alike.
For example, there was a station where one could write his or her name using old Viking symbols. It was interesting to note that old Viking symbols are still used today in things like cartoons, super heros, and also by white supremacists and right-wing extremist groups.

There were also real-life machines like this loom:

Weaving was most important in the Viking guess is because it was cold in those parts and that's how they stayed alive!

Dublinia and the Viking World exhibit connected to Christchurch Cathedral, which is what we'll look at tomorrow!

No comments: