January 27, 2019

Overseas and Off-Campus Programs Blog

A Moment of Peace

  • Inside of Galway Cathedral

Author Name

Connor Ayers

Author Program

Ireland: Social Sciences

Program Semester and Year

Spring 2019

Student Major

Psychology and Political Science

While exploring the city of Galway me and some friends came across the Galway Cathedral and decided to head in. After the somewhat hectic move in to our hostel, and the eager rush to get out to explore the city, I found the inside of the cathedral to be a welcome few moments of calm during a busy day.

A sign before walking in tells you that it is peaceful and prayerful place, which I found to be very true. To get inside the cathedral you have to go through heavy wooden doors which quickly muffle outside sounds once they close behind you. Inside there were only the sounds of quite music playing over the cathedral speakers, and peoples’ footsteps. There was a sense of quiet inside that no one wanted to break, and I didn’t speak much during my time inside. A few people sat scattered in the pews and others walked around the edge of the building. I enjoyed walking through a quiet place where there was no need to speak, it helped me to instead focus on the area around me. 

While the cathedral is beautiful from the outside, I thought that the inside was even more impressive. The lighting is kept at a low level, causing the candles and stained glass windows throughout the cathedral to stand out. Along with the stained glass, there were mosaics and sculptures everywhere that you looked, but it never felt overwhelming. Walking along the edge of the area I was impressed by the height and the architecture of the building. It is not often that I walk through buildings that are made mostly of stone or wood and the different building materials helped to give it a distinct feel. Above the alter is the dome of the cathedral, which was decorated with mosaics of angels. There was even a mosaic of JFK in one side area. There was also a massive organ on one side of the building. I wish I could’ve heard it been played, especially with the acoustics of the building.

Walking through the cathedral brought back memories of attending mass with my family when I was younger. At the time, I didn’t really appreciate having to get up early on a Sunday morning. My mom always told me that going to church gave her a sense of peace, and walking through the cathedral helped me better understand what she meant.

Before walking through Galway Cathedral I hadn’t even realized that the rush of the day had left me feeling stressed out. After leaving I felt much better, and I think it helped me to take a step back and enjoy my time in Galway more. It has helped me appreciate the value of taking a few peaceful moments to rest during a busy day. I’ll definitely be visiting the cathedrals in Dublin, and I hope that my experiences there are as good as the one I had in Galway.