How many people can say that they have been tourists in their own country? We long to flee our country to warmer climates (understandably!) and to take instagramable photographs of random tourist attractions thousands of miles from home. If you are frequently consumed by wanderlust but your city break is still a few months away you should consider exploring the surroundings that are on your doorstep. The results will definitely curb your cravings for travel for a few days at least!
This weeks expedition (and I use this term loosely, we travelled a grand total of 8 miles) was to Glasgow’s oldest building – St. Kentigern’s Cathedral. I wish I had visited this beauty earlier. Considering I have been living 20 minutes outside of Glasgow for my entire life I have never paid much attention to this building on passing until today. The 13th century building is tucked away behind the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and as soon as you step into the vicinity of the grand structure, you are instantly transported back in time. It is clear why part of season 2 of the TV series Outlander (set in France, 1744) was filmed here.
Every time you turn your head you see a different set of vibrant, stained glass windows, each telling a colourful, religious story. There are different nooks and crannies at every turn, each with their own wee bit of history. Around AD550, St Mungo (Kentigern), the first Bishop of the British Kingdom of Strathclyde, founded a religious community around a small church, in an area that was to become known as the city of Glasgow. In the Lower Church of the cathedral, the remains of his shrine and church have been displayed since the cathedral was built on the site of his church. It is an amazing thing that such artefacts have been preserved for this prolonged period of time.
Walking round the cathedral was a beautiful experience. Choir singers echoed their angelic voices around the vast rooms and other parts tranquil and quiet unlike the bustling, busy sounds of Glasgow city outside the door. The gothic architecture inside and out were sights to behold, almost leaving you with a bittersweet feeling that such art probably won’t be created again. However, it allows us to appreciate the beauty that has been created so close to us so long ago.
If you are ever wandering around the city, pop in to this magnificent building and see it in all its beauty for yourself. There are definitely some instagramable photographs in there that will keep you going! Take a bit of time away from the noise of the city centre and immerse yourself in the peace and quiet of our history.