Orkney 2021 – The Italian Chapel and St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall

The Italian Chapel was open. I called in one afternoon and they suggested we visited first thing in the morning. We did, and had it to ourselves. It is an atmospheric place. I did a bit of maths – if it was completed in 1945 and I first visited in 1982, that was 37 years. It is now 39 years since my first visit. I do enjoy the artwork, not just the Virgin and child, but also the gospel writers and the decoration and “stonework”. It is a fascinating story of the triumph of the human spirit in the midst of War, a group of Italians a long way from home.

If you want a longer blog, read this one http://www.northernvicar.co.uk/2017/08/04/lambs-holm-orkney-the-italian-chapel/

Last time we visited Kirkwall, I did you four blogs about St Magnus Cathedral – start with http://www.northernvicar.co.uk/2017/08/24/kirkwall-orkney-st-magnus-cathedral-the-general-tour/. This time they were closed for most of the first week as they recorded the St Magnus Festival, then for the second week numbers were very limited – one in, one out. Sensibly, they were using this time to get some building work done. They were also as friendly and welcoming as ever. The painting hangs in the Museum across the road.

Julie enjoyed the Orcadian Bookshop in Kirkwall – https://www.orcadian.co.uk/shop – and we ate several times in the Old Library cafe. The wonderful public library was closed, but I sat outside and connected to their wi-fi on a couple of occasions. We walked beside the quay and watched the boats, and I photoed the phone box (as one does).

Talking of bookshops, one of the highlights of the week was when Birsay Books opened especially for us – http://www.ecrarebooks.co.uk/

The caption on this minibus seemed to sum up our wonderful holiday.

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