Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dublinia and Christchurch Cathedral: Sightseeing via the Wallowing Method

Originally posted on Posterous, April 30, 2012

If you don't like museums, move along now. If you don't like churches either, run—don't walk.
Yesterday's walk was chiefly a hunt for Viking and medieval areas and artefacts, and we spent today—yes, the ENTIRE day—at a delightful small museum called Dublinia, which recreates both delightfully. Both of us, back in the dim past, were avid medieval recreationists. (Tangent: We met at a meeting of the Society for Creative Anachronism. The Spouse introduced himself to me as a member of the Lecher's Guild, thereby very nearly losing his chance with me...not to mention his testicles.)

I love museums in general, and get lost in them. I look at every display; I read every sign; I listen to every recording. You heard it here first: I am a Museum Bore. That goes double for old churches and cathedrals. So, today was a double-header, history-nerd style.

Dublinia seems to be popular with the tourist types. (I ain't neither no tourist...I are a classy traveler.) Families, students, young couples—all interested in the representations of life as it used to be lived here. The stripped-down presentation must make it economical to run: I hope so, since I hope it stays open forever! It has the traditional signage and audio recordings, to explain the displays. It also has computer-generated animated displays to amplify the more-usual stuff. Very well done, indeed!

I've been eyeing Christchurch ever since we got here. Its early-Gothic style appeals intensely to me, and we spent several hours looking around both church and crypt. Only thing I'm in two minds about the pulpit; I think I prefer Anton Pilgram's, at St. Stephen's in Vienna. Pilgram's is full-bore high-Gothic, and, though it would have been painted in period, the paint is long since gone. That at Christchurch uses several colors of stone, which I found less appealing.

The crypt is fascinating in that it looks as though it's been cleaned out—you can admire the arches, and the gear they have in storage/on display there (Christchurch keeps its junk in the basement just like everybody else!). Besides being easier to see the way it's put together, it's far less creepy than the crypt at St. Stephen's, where the bones of plague victims are still stacked like cordwood.
GREAT day, great museum, gorgeous church—loved every second!

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