SHRINES, CROSSES
AND SCULPTURES

SHRINES, CROSSES AND SCULPTURES

You don’t have to travel too far in Ireland before you stumble across a peculiar roadside shrine, cross, sculpture, or grotto. Ireland’s past has been greatly shaped and influenced by religious beliefs, and these structures, which vary from small to large and elaborate, are reminders of such beliefs.

Many crosses were often erected to commemorate family members and serve as memorials. Of the shrines found on roadsides and elsewhere, the vast majority will most likely be a Marian Shrine. These shrines were likely erected in 1954, a year dedicated by the Vatican as a Marian Year filled with celebration and devotion to Mary. The grottos, often found on Church grounds, usually depict the crucifixion or particular saints often associated with the nearby building or locality.

Found throughout Galway, these shrines, crosses, grottos, sculptures, etc., are not only intriguing features but also important reminders of Ireland’s religious past. In addition, the beautifully skilled craftsmanship of stone, wood, or metalwork that has gone into many of these structures and sculptures is truly something to admire!

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