St. Nicholas Collegiate Church in Galway. It was built in the early 1300's on the site of an earlier chapel. While today we think of St. Nicholas as a mostly secular 'saint' for children and Christmas, in medieval times he was the patron saint of sailors and very important to this seafaring town of Galway.
You may be asking yourself...why do I even care about this pretty church? If you're American, you certainly should care. It is said that Christopher Columbus worshiped here in 1477, years before he discovered the Americas. It is also said that his famous voyage of 1492 was inspired in part by the voyages of the Irish saint, St. Brendan the Navigator. According to legend, St. Brendan's sailings took him deep into the Atlantic, perhaps even as far as north America.
Was Chris inspired by tales of St. Brendan or did he think they were merely Irish boasting about discovering a new land? We'll never know for sure. What we do know for sure is that 'in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.' and put the Americas on the world map!
I went to Sunday morning services here . More about the interior of the church in my next blog post.