Re: Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals – St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh

Home Forums Ireland reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches Re: Re: reordering and destruction of irish cathedrals – St Colmans Cathedral, Cobh


Enclosed is a photograph of the Ciborium of the High Altar in Thurles, designed and executed by Giacomo della Porta in 1584 for the Gesù in Rome. The Altar was commissioned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, nephew of Pope Paul III. Della Porta was the dominant architect in Rome for the last quarter of the 16th century and worked on all the major commissions in the City, most notably the building of the dome of St. Peter’s between 1588 and 1590. He completed the project in 1602 by adding the lantern. He was a highly practical architect and influenced by Michelangelo’s mannerism and Vignola’s classicism.

The Ciborium is made up of a variety of antique marbles that includes giallo antico, roso antico and africano.

The mensa of the altar is of white carrara marble inlaid with malachite, lapis lazuli, rosso agate and other semi-precious materials. It has an arcaded praedella of 16 columns of which 6 are in yellow Siena, 6 in griotte, and 4 in vert campan. All columns have bases and capitals in bronze.

As with the reordering in the Pro-Cathedral, the Ciborium was removed from the High Altar and placed on a disproportioned plinth while the Altar mena was moved forward into the chancel. The sum total of the effect was to create a focal void in the sanctuary.

It is worth wondering whether Cashel followed the Pro-Cathedral or vice versa. Certainly, the designs for the reordering are remarkably similar. The idea of trying to improve on Turnerelli is, however, surpassed in Cashel with the absurd prospect of someone trying to “improve” on one of the great master of European civilization.

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