I was planning on adding Notre Dame to the blog this week, and then the sad events of this afternoon occurred. Notre Dame (“Our Lady) is in the center of Paris, France and is nearly 900 years old. When I was in the city, I took a few hundred photos from as many areas as I could and left without a doubt of why it’s one of the most visited churches in the world. Despite the destruction from today’s fire, the church fared better than I would have expected and hopefully will be restored over time. The Roman Catholic Cathedral has survived destructive events in the past, including desecration by atheists during the French Revolution and World Wars, so there’s reason to be optimistic. There’s also a lot of history about this church online, so I’ll just add a couple more links if you want to read more.
The Rock of Cashel, in Tipperary County, Ireland, is a medieval structure that was originally a fortress. The first floor entrance was designed 12 feet above the ground and accessed by a ladder to protect against unexpected Viking invasions. The King of Munster donated it to the church in 1101, and soon a chapel was added (1134) and the cathedral portion was built between 1235 and 1270. The complex has lasted several hundred years despite various wars and other collateral damage over the centuries. In 1749, the roof over the cathedral was removed by the Anglican Archbishop of Cashel for the lead content which could be used for ammunition. The location of the ruins is also believed to be the spot where Saint Patrick converted the King of Munster to Christianity in the 5th century. Today the grounds are open for tourism.
Orland United Methodist Church is a few miles past Bucksport, Maine. It was founded in 1814, but I’m unclear when the church building was constructed.
This historic Presbyterian church in Winnsboro, South Carolina dates from 1869. It’s a brick building with stucco on a granite foundation. The Presbyterians have had a congregation in the area since before 1785. An old cemetery surrounds the church that includes veterans of the American Revolutionary War.
A German immigrant named Conrad Ehrhardt founded the South Carolina town with the same name in 1851. Despite the story that says he arrived to the U.S. with only 25 cents, he promised that if God allowed him to prosper in his new land, he would build a church. He opened a mill, and although it took awhile, the Ehrhardt Memorial Lutheran Church was built in 1904. He died in 1908 and luckily he has this church to memorialize him, since his old home was demolished and the property it was on is now occupied by a shopping center.
The National Register of Historic Places lists the First Congregational Church in Turton to have been built in 1893. The plaque on the church shows 1892, but either way an older pioneer church in South Dakota. The “Country Gothic” style features a center tower and steeple with an open belfry and spire. The church was locked when I stopped by, so I included an interior photo taken through the window. Its history says that services were discontinued in 1963.
This restored church now serves as the Hawthorne Historical Museum and Cultural Center in Alachua County, Florida. It originally served as an African-American church, having been built in 1907.