ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE BLACK ABBEY CHURCH
I could not believe that I was the only person in the church.
Saint Dominic (Spanish: Santo Domingo), also known as Dominic of Osma and Dominic of Caleruega, often called Dominic de Guzmán and Domingo Félix de Guzmán; 8 August 1170 – 6 August 1221), was a Castilian priest and founder of the Dominican Order. Dominic is the patron saint of astronomers.
Nobody appears to really know why the Kilkenny Dominican church, founded in 1225, is named Black Abbey. Some claim that it because the Dominicans wore black capes over their white habits, or perhaps because the Black Plague claimed the lives of eight priests in 1348.
In 1650 Oliver Cromwell used it as a court from which to dispense summary justice before destroying it completely. All that remained were the walls. The abbey was rebuilt and opened in 1816 as a church; a new nave was completed in 1866, and the entire building was fully restored in 1979. Among the elements remaining from the original abbey are an alabaster sculpture of the Holy Trinity that dates from 1400, and a pre-Reformation statue of St. Dominic carved in Irish oak, which is believed to be the oldest such piece in the world. The huge Rosary Window, a stained-glass work of nearly 45sq.m (484 sq. ft.) representing the 15 mysteries of the rosary, was created in 1892 by Mayer of Munich.
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