Sunday, June 29, 2014

What Nelson Saw


Click any image for a larger version

Five views from the top of Nelson's Pillar will give you some idea what Nelson saw at the dawning of every day. While the camera was not of great quality the fact that they cannot be retaken may make them worth a look.

The first one above looks towards the Liffey as it flows past the relatively newly constructed Liberty Hall, the Custom House and the Gasometer. To the left you can see Michael Scott's Busáras.

I don't want to dwell too long on the first photo at the expense of the others, but. I gather there was fierce opposition to the construction of Busáras on the grounds that it would dominate the Custom House (front of, presumably). Nelson must have died laughing, from his vantage point, when he saw Dublin's first skyscraper rising on the west side of the custom house. Clearly a no contest in his eye.


The second one looks across at the Pro-Cathedral and the Department of Education. For me, it emphasises the backstreet location of the cathedral, compared, for example, to Christ Church or St. Patrick's.


The third shows the buildings on the north-east side of O'Connell St. with the landmark spire of St. George's church and the back of the houses in Cathal Brugha St. Note the shadow of the Pillar itself which we might have used as a sundial instead of the Millennium Chime in the Slime had Admiral Nelson not taken his leave of us by then.


The fourth one looks straight up the middle of the street, clearly showing the public toilets and mid-street parking as well as bringing in Findlater's church and the Rotunda tower.


The final shot moves a bit westwards, retaining Findlater's but showing the full of Parnell Square, including the imposing frontage of the historic Georgian buildings where the Rising was planned and which subsequently housed Coláiste Mhuire where I went to school. You can see Phibsborough church and also the spire of the Black Church where legend had it that if you ran round it three times and then went in you'd meet Old Nick himself.

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