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FANCISCAN ABBEY, CLAREGALWAY
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THE HISTORY OF IRELAND AS TOLD IN HER RUINS (second part)
A Lecture by Father Thomas N. Burke, O.P., delivered in the Cooper Institute, New York, on the 5th of April, 1872
The Danish invasion came, and I need not tell you that these Northern warriors who landed at the close of the eighth century, effecting their first landing near where the town of Skerries stands now, between Dublin and Balbriggan, on the eastern coast, that these men, thus coming, came as plunderers, and enemies of the religion as well as of the nationality of the people.
And for three hundred years, wherever they came, and wherever they went, the first thing they did was to put to death all the monks, and all the nuns, set fire to the schools, and banish the students; and, inflamed in this way with the blood of the peaceful, they sought to kill all the Irish friars; and a war of extermination, a war of interminable struggle and duration, was carried on for three hundred years. Ireland fought them; the Irish kings and chieftains fought them.
We read that in one battle alone, at Glenamada, in the county of Wicklow, King Malachy, he who wore the “collar of gold,” and the great King Brian, joined their forces in the cause of Ireland. In that grand day, when the morning sun arose, the battle began: and it was not until the sun set in the evening that the last Dane was swept from the field, and they withdrew to their ships, leaving six thousand dead bodies of their warriors behind them. Thus did Ireland, united, know how to deal with her Danish invaders; thus would Ireland have dealt with Fitzstephen and his Normans; but, on the day when they landed, the curse of disunion and discord was amongst the people. Finally, after three hundred years of invasion, Brian, on that Good Friday of 1014, cast out the Danes forever, and from the plains of Clontarf drove them into Dublin Bay.
Well, behind them they left the ruins of all the religion they had found. They left a people, who had, indeed, not lost their faith, but a people who were terribly shaken and demoralized by three hundred years of bloodshed and of war. One-half of it, one-sixth of it, would have been sufficient to ruin any other people; but the element that kept Ireland alive, the element that kept the Irish nationality alive in the hearts of the people, the element that preserved civilization in spite of three centuries of war, was the element of Ireland’s faith, and the traditions of the nation’s by-gone glory.
And now we arrive at the year 1134. Thirty years before, in the year 1103, the last Danish army was conquered and routed on the shores of Strangford Lough, in the North, and the last Danish King took his departure forever from the green shores of Erin. Thirty years have elapsed. Ireland is struggling to restore her shattered temples, her ruined altars, and to build up again, in all its former glory and sanctity, her nationality and monastic priesthood. Then Saint Malachy, great, glorious, and venerable name!, Saint Malachy, in whom the best blood of Ireland’s kings was mingled with the best blood of Ireland’s saints, was Archbishop of Armagh. In the year 1134, he invited into Ireland the Cistercian and the Benedictine monks. They came with all the traditions of the most exalted sanctity, with a spirit not less mild nor less holy than the spirit of a Dominic or an Augustine, and built up the glories of Lindisfarne, of Iona, of Mellifont, of Monasterboice, and of Monastereven, and all these magnificent ruins of which I spoke, the sacred monastic ruins of Ireland. Then the wondering world beheld such grand achievements as it never saw before, outrivaling in the splendour of their magnificence the grandeur of those temples which still attest the mediaeval greatness of Belgium, of France, and of Italy.
Then did the Irish people see, enshrined in these houses, the holy solitaries and monks from Clairveaux, with the light of the great Saint Bernard shining upon them from his grave. But only thirty years more passed, thirty years only; and, behold, a trumpet is heard on the eastern coast of Ireland: the shore and the hills of that Wexford coast re-echo to the shouts of the Norman, as he sets his accursed foot upon the soil of Erin. Divided as the nation was, chieftain fighting against chieftain, for, when the great King Brian was slain at Clontarf, and his son and his grandson were killed, and the three generations of the royal family thus swept away, every strong man in the land stood up and put in his claim for the sovereignty, by this division the Anglo-Norman was able to fix himself in the land. Battles were fought on every hill in Ireland; the most horrible scenes of the Danish invasion were renewed again. But Ireland is no longer able to shake the Saxon from her bosom; for Ireland is no longer able to strike him as one man.
The name of “United Irishmen” has been a name, and nothing but a name, since the day that Brian Boru was slain at Clontarf until this present moment. Would to God that this name of United Irishmen meant something more than an idle word! Would to God that, again, today, we were all united for some great and glorious purpose! Would to God that the blessing of our ancient, glorious unity was upon us! Would to God that the blessing even of a common purpose in the love of our country guided us! then, indeed, would the Celtic race and the Celtic nation be as strong as ever it was,as strong as it was upon that evening at Clontarf, which beheld Erin weeping over her martyred Brian, but beheld her with the crown still upon her brow.
Sometimes victorious, yet oftener defeated, defeated not so much by the shock of the Norman onset as by the treachery and the feuds of her own chieftains, the heart of the nation was broken; and behold, from the far sunny shores of Italy, there came to Ireland other monks and other missionaries, clothed in this very habit which I now wear, or in the sweet brown habit of Saint Francis, or the glorious dress of Saint Augustine. Unlike the monks who gave themselves up to contemplation, and who had large possessions, large houses, these men came among the people, to make themselves at home among the people, to become the sagart a rún of Ireland.
They came with a learning a’ great as that of the Irish monks of old, with a sturdy devotion, as energetic as that of Colum Cille, or of Kevin of Glendalough; they came with a message of peace, of consolation, and of hope to this heart-broken people; and they came nearly seven hundred years ago to the Irish shores. The Irish people received them with a kind of supernatural instinct that they had found their champions and their priestly heroes, and for nearly seven hundred years the Franciscan and his Dominican brother have dwelt together in the land. Instead of building up magnificent, wonderful edifices, like Holy Cross, or Mellifont, or Dunbrody; instead of covering acres with the grandeur of their buildings, these Dominicans and Franciscans went out in small companies, ten, or twelve, or twenty, and they went into remote towns and villages, and there they dwelt, and built quietly a convent for themselves; and they educated the people themselves; and, by-and-by, the people in the next generation learned to love the disciples of Saint Dominic and Saint Francis, as they beheld the churches so multiplied.
In every townland of Ireland there was either a Dominican or a Franciscan church or convent. The priests of Ireland welcomed them; the holy bishops of Ireland sustained them; the ancient religious of Ireland gave them the right-hand of friendship; and the Cistercians or Benedictines gave them, very often, indeed, some of their own churches wherein to found their congregation, or to begin their missions. They came to dwell in the land early in the twelfth century, and, until the fifteenth century, strange to say, it was not yet found out what was the hidden design of Providence in bringing them there, in what was once their own true and ancient missionary Ireland.
During these three hundred years, the combat for Ireland’s nationality was still continued. The O’Neill, the O’Brien, the O’Donnell, the McGuire, the O’Moore, kept the national sword waving in the air. The Franciscans and the Dominicans cheered them, entered into their feelings, and they could only not be said to be more Irish than the Irish themselves, because they were the heart’s blood of Ireland. They were the light of the national councils of the chieftains of Ireland, as their historians were the faithful annalists of the glories of these days of combat. They saw the trouble; and yet, for three hundred years the Franciscan and the Dominican had not discovered what his real mission to Ireland was.
But at the end of the three hundred years came the fifteenth century. Then came the cloud of religious persecution over the land. All the hatred that divided the Saxon and the Celt, on the principle of nationality, was now heightened by the additional hatred of religious discord and division; and Irishmen, if they hated the Saxon before, as the enemy of Ireland’s nationality, from the fifteenth century hated him with an additional hatred, as the enemy of Ireland’s faith and Ireland’s religion. The sword was drawn. My friends, I speak not in indignation, but in sorrow; and I know that if there be one amongst you, my fellow-countrymen, here to-night, if there be a man who differs with me in religion, to that man I say: “Brother and friend, you feel as deeply as I do a feeling of indignation and of regret for the religious persecution of our native land.” No man feels it more; no man regrets more bitterly the element of religious discord, the terrible persecution of these three hundred years, through which Ireland, Catholic Ireland, has been obliged to pass; no man feels this more than the high-minded, honest, kind-hearted Irish Protestant. And why should he not feel it? If it was Catholic Ireland that had persecuted Protestant Ireland for that time, and with such intensity, I should hang my head for shame.
Well, that mild, scrupulous, holy man, Henry the Eighth, in the middle of the fifteenth century got a scruple of conscience! Perhaps it was whilst he was saying his prayers, he began to get uneasy, and to be afraid that, maybe, his wife wasn’t his wife at all! He wrote a letter to the pope, and he said: “Holy Father, I am very uneasy in my mind!“
The fact was, there was a very nice young lady in the court. Her name was Anna Boleyn. She was a great beauty. Henry got very fond of her, and he wanted to marry her. But he could not marry her, because he was already a married man. So he wrote to the pope, and he said he was uneasy in his mind, he had a scruple of conscience; and he said: “Holy Father, grant me a favour. Grant me a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. I have been married to her for several years. She has had several children by me. Just grant me this little favour. I want a divorce!“
The pope sent back word to him: “Don’t be uneasy at all in your mind! Stick to your wife like a man; and don’t be troubling me with your scruples.”
Well, Henry threw the pope over. He married the young woman whilst his former wife was living, and he should have been taken that very day and tried before the Lord Chief Justice of England, and transported for life. And why? Because if it had been any other man in England that did it but the king, that man would have been transported for life; and the king is as much bound by the laws of God, and of justice, and conscience, and morality, as any other man. When Henry separated from the pope he made himself head of the Church; and he told the people of England that he would manage their consciences for them for the future. But when he called upon Ireland to join him in this strange and indeed, I think my Protestant friends will admit, insane act, for such indeed, I think my Protestant friends will admit this act to be; for, I think, it was nothing short of insanity for any man of sense to say: “I will take the law of God as preached from the lips and illustrated in the life of Henry the Eighth, Ireland refused.
Henry drew the sword, and declared that Ireland should acknowledge him as the head of the Church; that she should part with her ancient faith, and with all the traditions of her history, to sustain him in his measures, or that he would exterminate the Irish race. Another scruple of conscience came to this tender-hearted man!
And what do you think it was?
Oh, he said, I am greatly afraid the friars and the priests are not leading good lives. So he set up what we call a commission; and he sent it to Ireland to inquire what sort of lives the monks and friars and priests and nuns were leading; and the commissioners sent back word to him, that they could not find any great fault with them; but that, on the whole, they thought it would be better to turn them out!
So they took their convents and their churches, and whatever little property they possessed, and these commissioners sold them, and put the money into their own pockets. There was a beautiful simplicity about the whole plan.
Well, my friends, then came the hour of the ruin of the dear old convents of the Franciscans and Dominicans. Their inmates were driven out at the point of the sword; they were scattered like sheep over the land. Five pounds was the price set upon the head of the friar or priest, the same price that was set upon the head of a wolf. They were hunted throughout the land; and when they fled for their lives from their convent homes, the Irish people opened their hearts, and said, “Come to us, Sagart a Rún.”
Throughout the length and breadth of the land they were scattered, with no shelter but the canopy of heaven; with no Sunday sacrifice to remind the people of God; no Mass celebrated in public, and no Gospel preached; and yet they succeeded for three hundred years in preserving the glorious Catholic faith, that is as strong in Ireland today as ever it was. These venerable ruins tell the tale of the nation’s woe, of the nation’s sorrow. As long as it was merely a question of destroying a Cistercian or a Benedictine Abbey, there were so few of these in the land, that the people did not feel it much.
But when the persecution came upon the Bráthair, as the friar was called, the men whom everybody knew, the men whom everybody came to look up to for consolation in affliction or in sorrow; when it came upon him, then it brought sorrow and affliction to every village, to every little town, to every man in Ireland. There were, at this time, upwards of eighty convents of religious, Franciscans and Dominicans, in Ireland, that numbered very close upon a thousand priests of each order. There were nearly a thousand Irish Franciscans, and nearly a thousand Irish Dominican priests, when Henry began his persecution. He was succeeded, after a brief interval of thirty years, by his daughter Elizabeth. How many Dominicans, do you think, were then left in Ireland?
There were a thousand, you say?
Oh, God of heaven!
There were only four of them left, only four!
All the rest of these heroic men had stained their white habit with the blood that they shed for God and for their country. Twenty thousand men it took Elizabeth, for as many years as there were thousands of them, to try to plant the seedling of Protestantism on Irish soil. The ground was dug as for a grave; the seed of Protestantism was cast into that soil; and the blood of the nation was poured in, to warm it and bring it forth. It never grew, it never came forth; it never bloomed! Ireland was as Catholic the day that Elizabeth died at Hampton Court, gnawing the flesh off her hands in despair, and blaspheming God, Ireland was as Catholic that day as she was the day that Henry the Eighth vainly commanded her first to become Protestant.
Then came a little breathing-time, a very short time, and in fifty years there were six hundred Irish Dominican priests in Ireland again. They studied in Spain, in France, in Italy. These were the youth, the children, of Irish fathers and mothers, who cheerfully gave them up, though they knew, almost to a certainty, that they were devoting them to a martyr’s death; but they gave them up for God. Smuggled out of the country, they studied in these foreign lands; and they came back again, by night and by stealth, and they landed upon the shores of Ireland; and when Cromwell came he found six hundred Irish Dominicans upon the Irish land. Ten years after, only ten years passed, and again the Irish Dominican preachers assembled to count up their numbers, and to tell how many survived and how many had fallen. How many do you think were left out of the six hundred?
But one hundred and fifty were left; four hundred and fifty had perished, had shed their blood for their country, or had been shipped away to Barbados as slaves. These are the tales their ruins tell. I need not speak of their noble martyrs.
Oh, if these moss-grown stones of the Irish Franciscan and Dominican ruins could speak, they would tell how the people gave up everything they had, for years and years, as wave after wave of successive per seditions and confiscations and robbery rolled over them, rather than renounce their glorious faith or their glorious priesthood.
When Elizabeth died, the Irish Catholics thought her successor, James the First., would give them at least leave to live; and accordingly, for a short time after he became king, James kept his own counsel, and he did not tell the Irish Catholics whether he would grant them any concessions or not; but he must have given them some encouragement, for they befriended him, as they had always done to the House of Stuart. But what do you think the people did? As soon as the notion that they would be allowed to live in the land took possession of them, and that they would be allowed to take possession of the estates they had been robbed of, instead of minding themselves, the very first thing they did, to the credit of Irish fidelity be it said, was to set about restoring the Franciscan and Dominican abbeys. It was thus they restored the Black Abbey in Kilkenny, a Dominican house; they restored the Dominican Convent in Waterford, Multifarnham, in Westmeath, and others; and these in a few months grew up into all their former beauty from ruin, under the loving, faithful, restoring hands of the Irish people.
But soon came a letter from the king; and it began with these notable words: “It has been told to us, that some of our Irish subjects imagined that we were about to grant them liberty of conscience.”
No such thing!
Liberty of conscience for Irish Catholics!
Hordes of persecutors were let loose again, and the storms of persecution that burst over Ireland in the days of James the First. were quite as bad and as terrible as any that rained down blood upon the land in the days of Queen Elizabeth. And so, with varying fortunes, now of hope, and now of fear, this selfsame game went on. The English determined that they would make one part of Ireland, at least, Protestant, and that the fairest and the best portion of it, as they imagined, namely, the province of Ulster.
Now, mark the simple way they went about it. They made up their minds that they would make one province of Ireland Protestant, to begin with, in order that it might spread out by degrees to the others.
And what did they do?
They gave notice to every Catholic in Ulster to pack up and be gone, to leave the land.
They confiscated every single acre in the fair province of Ulster; and the Protestant Primate, the Archbishop of Armagh, a very holy man, who was always preaching to the people not to be too fond of the things of this world; he got forty-three thousand acres of the best land of these convents in fee.
Trinity College, in Dublin, got thirty thousand acres. There were certain guilds of traders in London, the skinners, tanners, the dry-salters; and what do you think these London trade associations got? They got a present of two hundred and nine thousand eight hundred acres of the finest land in Ulster! Then all the rest of the province was given in lots of one thousand, one thousand five hundred, to two thousand acres, to Scotchmen and Englishmen. But the very deed that gave it obliged them to take their oath that they would accept that land upon this condition, not so much as to give a day’s work to a labouring man, unless that labouring man took his oath that he was not a Catholic. And so Ulster was disposed of.
That remained until Cromwell came; and when the second estimate was made of the kingdom it was discovered that there were nearly five millions of acres lying still in the hands of the Catholics.
And what did Cromwell do?
He quietly made a law, and he published it; and he said, on the 1st of May, 1654, every Catholic in Ireland was to cross the Shannon, and to go into Connaught.
Now, the river Shannon cuts off five of the western counties from the rest of Ireland, and these five counties, though very large in extent, have more of waste land, of bog, and of hard, unproductive, stony soil than all the rest of Ireland. I am at liberty to say this, because I, myself, am the heart’s blood of a Connaughtman.
If any other man said this of Connaught, I would have to say my prayers, and keep a very sharp eye about me, to try to keep my temper. But it is quite true; with all our love for our native land, with all my love for my native province, all that love won’t put a blade of grass on an acre of limestone; and that there are acres of such, we all know. It was an acre of this sort that a poor fellow was building a wall around.
“What are you building that wall for?” says the landlord. “Are you afraid the cattle will get out?”
“No, your honour, indeed I am not,” says the poor man; “but I was afraid the poor brutes might get in.”
Then Cromwell sent the Catholics of Ireland to Connaught; and, remember, he gave them their choice. He said, “Now, if you don’t like to go to Connaught, I will send you to hell!“
So the Catholic Irish put their heads together, and they said: “It is better for us to go to Connaught. He may want the other place for himself.” God forbid that I should condemn any man to hell; but I cannot help thinking of what the poor car man said to myself in Dublin once. Going along, he saw a likeness of Cromwell, and he says, “At all events, Cromwell has gone to the devil.”
I said, “My man, don’t be uncharitable. Don’t say that; it is uncharitable to say it.”
“Thunder and turf!” says he, “sure if he is not gone to the devil, where is the use of having a devil at all?”
At any rate, my friends, wherever he is gone to, he confiscated at one act five millions of acres of Irish land; with one stroke of his pen, he handed over to his Cromwellian soldiers five million acres of the best land in Ireland, the golden vale of Tipperary included. Forty years later, the Catholics began to creep out of Connaught, and to buy little lots here and there, and they got a few lots here and there given to them by their Protestant friends. But, at any rate, it was discovered by the government of England, that the Catholics in Ireland were beginning to get a little bit of the land again; and they issued another commission to inquire into the titles to these properties, and they found that there was a million two hundred thousand acres of the land recurred to the Catholics; and they found, also, that that land belonged to the crown; and the million two hundred thousand acres were again confiscated.
So that, as soon as the people began to take hold of the land at all, down came the sword of persecution and of confiscation upon them. And Cromwell himself avowed with the greatest solemnity that as Ireland would not become Protestant, Ireland should be destroyed. Now, is it to excite your feelings of hatred against England that I say these things? No, no; I don’t want any man to hate his neighbour I don’t want to excite these feelings. Nor I don’t believe it is necessary for me to excite them. I believe, sincerely I believe, that an effort to excite an Irishman to a dislike of England would be something like an effort to encourage a cat to take a mouse. I mention these facts just because these are the things that Ireland’s ruins tell us; because these are at once the history of the weakness and the sadness, yet of the strength and of the glory, of which these ruins tell us. I mention these things because they are matter of history; and because, though we are the party that were on the ground, prostrate, there is nothing in the history of our fathers at which the Irishman of today need be ashamed, or hang his head.
But if you want to know in what spirit our people dealt with all this persecution, if you want to know how we met those who were thus terrible in their persecution of us, I appeal to the history of my country, and I will state to you three great facts that will show you what was the glorious spirit of the Irish people, even in the midst of their sorrows; how Christian it was and how patient it was; how forgiving and loving even to our persecutors it was; how grandly they illustrated the spirit of duty at the command of their Lord and Saviour; and how magnificently they returned good for evil. The first of these facts is this: At the time that England invaded Ireland, towards the close of the twelfth century, there were a number of Englishmen in slavery in Ireland. They were taken prisoners of war; they had come over with the Danes, from Wales, and from North Britain, with their Danish superiors; and when Ireland conquered them, the rude, terrible custom of the times, and the shocks that all peaceful spirit had got by these wars, had bred so much ferocity in the people, that they actually made slaves of these Englishmen! And they were everywhere in the land. When the English landed in Ireland, and when the first Irish blood was shed by them, the nation assembled by its bishops and archbishops in the synod at Armagh, there said, “Perhaps the Almighty God is angry with us because we have these captive Christians and Saxons amongst us, and punishes us for having these slaves amongst us. In the name of God we will set them free.”
And on that day every soul in Ireland that was in slavery received his freedom. Oh, what a grand and glorious sight before heaven! A nation fit to be free, yet enslaved, yet, with the very hand on which others try to fasten their chains, striking off the chains from these English slaves! Never was there a more glorious illustration of the heavenly influence of Christianity since Christianity was preached amongst the nations.
The next incident is rather a ludicrous one, and I am afraid that it will make you laugh. My friends, I know the English people well. Some of the best friends that I have in the world are in England. They have a great many fine qualities. But there is a secret, quiet, passive contempt for Ireland; and I really believe it exists amongst the very best of them, with very few exceptions. An Englishman will not, as a general rule, hate an Irishman joined to him in faith; but he will quietly despise us If we rise and become fractious, then, perhaps, he will fear us but, generally speaking, in the English heart there is, no doubt a contempt for Ireland and for Irishmen. Now, that showed itself remarkably in 1666. In that year the Catholics of Ireland were ground into the very dust. That year saw one hundred thousand Irishmen, six thousand of them beautiful boys, sent off to be sold as slaves in the sugar-plantations of Barbados. That year London was burned, just as Chicago was burned the other day. The people were left in misery. The Catholics of Ireland, hunted, persecuted, scarcely able to live, actually came together, and, out of pure charity, they made up for the famishing people of London a present, a grand present. They sent them over fifteen thousand fat bullocks! They knew John Bull’s taste for beef. They knew his liking for a good beefsteak, and they actually sent him the best beef in the world, Irish beef. The bullocks arrived in London. The people took them, slaughtered them, and ate them, and the Irish Catholics said, “Much good may they do you!” Now comes the funny part of it.
When the bullocks were all killed and eaten, the people of London got up a petition to the Houses of Parliament, and they got Parliament to act on that petition; it was to the effect that this importation of Irish oxen was a nuisance; and it should be abated. But they had taken good care to eat the meat before they voted it a nuisance.
The third great instance of Ireland’s magnanimous Christianity, and of the magnanimity with which this brave and grand old people knew how to return good for evil, was in the time of King James. In the year 1689, exactly twenty years after the Irish bullocks had been voted a nuisance in London, in that year there happened to be, for a short time, a Catholic king in England. The tables were turned. The king went to work and he turned out the Irish lord chancellor because he was a Protestant, and he put in a Catholic chancellor in his place. He turned out two Irish judges because they were Protestants, and he put in two Englishmen, Catholics, as judges in their place. He did various actions of this kind, persecuting men because they were Protestants and he was a Catholic. And now, mark. We have it on the evidence of history that the Catholic archbishop of Armagh and the Catholic pope of Rome wrote to James the Second, through the lord lieutenant over the Irish Catholics there, that he had no right to do that, and that it was very wrong.
Oh, what a contrast!
When Charles the First wished to grant some little remission of the persecution in Ireland, because he was in want of money, the Irish Catholics sent him word that they would give him two hundred thousand pounds if he would only give them leave to worship God as their own consciences directed. What encouragement the king gave them we know not; at any rate, they sent him a sum of a hundred and fifty thousand pounds, by way of instalment. But the moment it became rumoured abroad, the Protestant archbishop of Dublin got up in the pulpit of Saint Patrick’s cathedral, and he declared that a curse would fall upon the land and upon the king, because of these anticipated concessions to the Catholics.
What a contrast is here presented between the action of the Catholic people of Ireland and the action of their oppressors! And in these instances have we not presented to us the strongest evidence that the people who can act so by their enemies were incapable of being crushed? Yes, Ireland can never be crushed nor conquered; Ireland can never lose her nationality so long as she retains so high and so glorious a faith, and presents so magnificent an illustration of it in her national life. Never she has not lost it! She has it today. She will have it if the higher and more perfect form of complete and entire national freedom; for God does not abandon a race who not only cling to Him with an unchanging faith, but who also know how, in the midst of their sufferings, to illustrate that faith by so glorious, so liberal, so grand a spirit of Christian charity.
And now, my friends, it is for me simply to draw one conclusion, and to have done. Is there a man amongst us here tonight who is ashamed of his race or his native land, if that man has the high honour to be an Irishman? Is there a man living that can point to a more glorious and a purer source whence he draws the blood in his veins, than the man who can point to the bravery of his Irish forefathers, or the immaculate purity of his Irish mother! We glory in them, and we glory in the faith for which our ancestors have died. We glory in the love of a country that never, never, for an instant, admitted that Ireland was a mere province, that Ireland was merely a “West Britain.” Never, in our darkest hour, was that idea adapted to the Irish mind, or adopted by the will of the Irish people.
And, therefore, I say, if we glory in that faith, if we glory in the history of their national conduct and of their national love, oh, my friends and fellow-countrymen, I say it, as well as a priest as an Irishman, let us emulate their example; let us learn to be generous to those who differ from us, and let us learn to be charitable, even to those who would fain injure us. We can thus conquer them. We can thus assure to the future of Ireland the blessings that have been denied to her past, the blessing of religious equality, the blessing of religious liberty, the blessing of religious unity, which, one day or other, will spring up in Ireland again. I have often heard words of bitterness, aye, and of insult, addressed to myself in the North of Ireland, coming from Orange lips; but I have always said to myself, He is an Irishman; though he is an Orangeman, he is an Irishman. If he lives long enough, he will learn to love the priest that represents Ireland’s old faith; but, if he die in his Orange dispositions, his son or his grandson will yet shake hands with and bless the priest, when he and I are both in our graves. And why do I say this? Because nothing bad, nothing uncharitable, nothing harsh or venomous ever yet lasted long upon the green soil of Ireland. If you throw a poisonous snake into the grass of Ireland, he will be sweetened, so as to lose his poison, or else he will die. Even the English people, when they landed, were not two hundred and fifty years in the land, until they were part of it; the very Normans who invaded us became “more Irish than the Irish themselves.” They became so fond of the country, that they were thoroughly imbued with its spirit. And so, any evil that we have in Ireland, is only a temporary and a passing evil, if we are only faithful to our traditions, and to the history of our country. Today there is religious disunion; but, thanks be to God, I have lived to see religious, disabilities destroyed. And, if I were now in the position of addressing Irish Orangemen, I would say, “Men of Erin, three cheers for the Church disestablishment! “And if they should ask me, “Why? “I would answer, “It was right and proper to disestablish the Church, because the Established Church was put in between you and me, and we ought to love each other, for we are both Irish!
Every class in Ireland will be drawn closer to the other by this disestablishment; and the honest Protestant man will begin to know a little more of his Catholic brother, and to admire him; and the Catholic will begin to know a little more of the Orangeman, and, perhaps, to say, “After all, he is not half so bad as he appears.” And believe me, my friends, that, breathing the air of Ireland, which is Catholic, eating the bread made out of the wheat which grows out on Irish soil, they get so infused with Catholic blood, that as soon as the Orangeman begins to have the slightest regard or love for his Catholic fellow-countryman, he is on the highway to become a Catholic, for a Catholic he will be, some time or other. As a man said to me very emphatically once: They will all be Catholics one day, surely, sir, if they only stay long enough in the country!
I say, my friends, that the past is the best guarantee for the future. We have seen the past in /some of its glories. What is the future to be? What is the future that is yet to dawn on this dearly-loved land of ours? Oh, how glorious will that future be, when all Irishmen shall be united in one common faith and one common love! Oh, how fair will our beloved Erin be, when, clothed in religious unity, religious equality and freedom, she shall rise out of the ocean wave, as fair, as lovely, in the end of time, as she was in the glorious ‘days when the world, entranced by her beauty, proclaimed her to be the mother of saints and sages. Yes, I see her rising emancipated; no trace of blood or persecution on her virgin face; the crown, so long lost to her, resting again upon her fair brow! I see her in peace and concord with all the nations around her, and with her own children within her. I see her venerated by the nations afar off, and, most of all, by the mighty nation which, in that day, in its strength, and in its youth, and in its vigour, shall sway the destinies of the world. I see her as Columbia salutes her across the ocean waves. But the light of freedom coming from around my mother’s face will reflect the light of freedom coming from the face of that nation which has been nursed in freedom, cradled in freedom, and which has never violated the sacred principles of religious freedom and religious equality. I see her with the light of faith shining upon her face; and I see her revered, beloved, and cherished by the nations, as an ancient and a most precious thing! I behold her rising in the energy of a second birth, when nations that have held their heads high are humbled in the dust! And so I hail you, O, mother Erin! And I say to you,
The nations have fallen, but you still art young;
Your sun is but rising when others have set;
And though slavery’s clouds round your morning have hung,
The full noon of Freedom shall beam round you yet
Culture, Tourism and the Self: Travels in name and space
Image by timtak
Yuji Nakanishi, professor of Tourism at Rikkyou University, points out that “Japanese tend to associate tourism with historical landmarks, but foreigners are interested in people’s lives and their lifestyles,” he said. “Places like the fish market were never really considered a tourist site until quite recently, so both sides are really confused (Tanikawa, 2009).”
"A shop owner told me in an interview: ‘Tourists from China and Japan: here in the morning full of them, but they arrive, ﬁve minutes, and run away; they have their own schedule, take a picture and hurry; they don’t stay longer; they have ten minutes to see the church, twenty to see the museum, ten to go in another place.’ These tourists are seemingly not interested in cultural heritage but in collecting the icons of that culture." (Parmeggiani et al., 2010, p110)
Japanese tourists do different things. How should we make sense of them?
Japanese travel to places for symbols where they themselves provide the sights from the imagination or bodily via auto-photography, whereas Western tourists go places for sights which they interpret and narrate in their thoughts and words. The purpose in each case, of going all that way to experience otherness, is to return to an experience of self undiluted by other.
A few days ago in the village near our beach house, a rainy day, a group of Japanese tourists went from community centre to Buddhist temple, to road side shrine, collecting stamps as part of one of those uniquely Japanese "stamp rallies." No one came to the beach in front of our house. The panoramic view of inland sea, with gulls and fishing boats and its setting sun was of no interest to them. Likewise, this jaded old Westerner can not think of a more boring, more pointless tourism experience than a traipsing around a grey landscape collecting the blotchy red imprints left by a set of rubber stamps.
As Urry (2002) famously argues, Western tourism is about going to see something. This form of tourism has a very long tradition. The picture above left is from a stained glass window in Canterbury Cathedral, England (Wells, 2002, p127, Crown Copyright NMR), the destination of Medieval Christian pilgrimage. Wells, and more famously the anthropologist Victor Turner (Turner & Turner, 1995) have argued that there is a visual bias to Christian pilgrimage, or that the destination of Christian pilgrimage is a located image, such as stained glass, a sacred image or icon.
That the Japanese word for tourism, Kankou is often glossed as "seeing the sights" persuades us that Japanese tourist too are interested in going to see. In fact the would "Kankou" originates n the Tao-Te-Ching which argues that rulers should travel to other countries so as to gain information on how better to rule their own. The passage which introduces the word "kankou" is a recommendation not to travellers but to hosts to " indicate (shiimesu) the （high）lights of your country." Even on a literal reading, "Kankou" (Japanese tourism) is about going to places where things are explained (note 0).
The stamp rally has its origins in the proof of visitation required of Japanese pilgrims during the Tokugawa period (Graburn, 1983; Reader, 2005), but before that Japanese accumulated pieces of paper stamped with sacred symbols for more than one thousand years. The religious act of Shinto, far more than prayer, is a form of pilgrimage, shrine-visiting, mairi or moude, a movement of the worshipper. And at the shrine, before amulets and sacred stamped pieces of card were distributed symbols: first branches of trees and stones, later stamped pieces of paper. The destinations provided the names. The destinations were the named places, the "meisho". But did Japanese pilgrimage destinations provide the sights?
Not only in the stamp rally but in many forms of Japanese tourism is the sight strangely eschewed. I can remember my disappointment when taken to the the ancient seat of regional government at Dazaifu to find only an empty field. Japanese tourists visit castle towns, such as the most famous, Hagi, where there is NO CASTLE TO BE SEEN! They visit ruins (‘of identity’ see Hudson, 1999; Plutschow, 1981) such as that visited by Matsuo Basho, where there is NOTHING to be SEEN at all. Hudson, citing Plutschow (1981, p22) argues that, "Basho’ choice of ato (ruin) was itself derived from the medieval Japanese tradition of travel diaries, wherein the significance of a place was determined by its history – its location in time, rather than by geography."
Traditionally shrines, the destination Japanese par excellence contained a prototypical meibutsu, the God-body (goshintai) of the shrine that might be a mirror, sword, jewel, or sacred stone but it was *forbidden to see this item*. The goshintai was situated symbolically . It was wrapped up in layer upon layer of cloth, box, inner shrine, out shrine and shrine walls (Hendry, 1995; Pilgrim, 1986; Bachnik & Quinn, 1994) partly to ensure that it was never seen at all. Shrines have the structure of an onion. The visitor may never become aware that there is anything at their centre, other than the fact that the visitor knows that something is there, symbolically. After all, shrines are the prototypical, great and famous, named place (meisho).
According to an informant, a Japanese tour guide, the vast majority of Japanese tourists visiting Ise Shrine today, visit the woods around the shrine, see at most its outer walls, and the souvenir shop, and the car park. Japanese tourists have thronged to Ise for centuries (especially inspired by stories of sacred symbols falling from the sky (fudaori), but without special appointment they do not see the shrine itself, much less the holy of hollies, the mirror of the sun goddess, the goshintai, prototypical named-thing (meibutsu) at its centre. Even those that do have special dispensation to enter the outer walls of Ise Shrine will be faced with that which Guichard-Anguis (2007) describes as the biggest difference between pilgrimage to Ise compared with that in Europe; the shrine building itself will have been rebuilt within the last twenty years. Even though Japanese are noted for their fondness of historical attractions, not only do they go to visit empty sites or ‘ruins’, the Japanese rebuild even the old sites and buildings anew. This is not just in the case of Ise Shrine but also in the case of Japanese homes, and Castles such as Osaka castle, as bewailed by XYZ.
The fact that sights are not so important as named significance may also explain the lack of attention to the maintenance of visual "authenticity," even in places such as Tokyo. Tomomitsu-Tomasson (2005) a research student in sociology, expresses her disappointment at arriving in Kyoto with a quote from Kerr’s damning portrait of the dark side of Japan (2002).
“How must Kyoto appear to one who has never visited here? Passersby clad in kimono going to and fro along quiet narrow streets between temples, rows of houses with black wooden lattices, glimpsed over tiled roofs the mountains covered with cherry blossoms, streams trickling at one’s feet….the traveler’s expectations must be high – until the moment when he alights from the Bullet train. He leaves the station, catches his first sight of Kyoto Tower, and from there on it is all shattered dreams. Kyoto Hotel cuts off the view of the Higashiyama hills, and big signs on cheap clothing stores hide Mount Daimonji.Red; vending machines are lined up in front of the temples. It’s the same miserable scenery you see everywhere in Japan, and the same people oblivious to it all” (Professor Tayama Reishi direct quote) (Kerr 2001:164/65). in Tomomitsu-Tomasson (2005), p 4.
In my new home town of Yamaguchi I have written about how sad it is that less is done to maintain traditional urban architecture such as in Tatekouji Street, since it is this type of sight, that is the essence of a tourist attraction and destination. That Japanese are happy to visit Kyoto and Yamaguchi without demanding visual authenticity is again a result of their relative lack of interest in the visual dimension of tourist destinations.
Finally, it just seems to me that the Japanese are not so interested in views. The fact that I continue to live in an more recently purchases house with excellent views, or that I have a panoramic view from the window where I now write drives this home. I feel considerable empathy with the words of the Blondie song, "All I want is a room with a view," and seek to live in places which command a view. In Japan, however it is said that "high places attract smoke and stupid people," and while the high places may be elevated social positions, I think that it may also apply to the more literal interpretation. Perhaps part of my preference for views is my stupid desire to look down on things and other people.
Why do Japanese go to these symbolically significant named-places places, rather to interpret visual sites?
It seems to me that the answer can be found in theories of the Western, and Japanese self.
Here I should have a long introduction to (cross cultural psychology)
Origins in Triandis’ Hofestede’ collectivism
Markus and Kitayama turn around
Heine rejection of the need for self regard
Oyserman/Takano/Yamagishi attacks on collectivism
Hong YY and more so, Nisbett/Masuda cognitive turn
Kim and Non-Linguistic thought, and in her second paper on that topic on self expression, the non-linguistic self
And then ask what, phenomenologically is the self in the West and Japan like? What is it like to have an independent self? What is felt to be self? What is felt to be not self? How can one have a "interdependent self" what does hat feel like? What phenomena are felt to be self in that situation?
And then me (ha!)
For the Westerner, the self is the self narrative. Tourists of the MacCannelian or Cullerian kind visit and play ethnographer or semiologist (MacCannell, 1976; Culler, 1988) regarding the sights that they see. The Western tourists provides the narrative because they are narrative and the sight is the otherness which they attempt to interpret. To these tourists the things that they see are signs but they are signs which have the structure of an alibi (Culler, 1988; Barthes,1972), signing off to a meaning which the tourist, in their phonetic inner narrative, provides. The Western tourists may take of photo of the sight, or better still purchase a photo upon the reverse of which she will narrate herself in this location. The Western tourist goes to see and say. Like ethnologists or anthropologists they use the phenomenological technique of bracketing away preconceptions (the more other unusual, opaque to the interpretations that they have to hand that a sight is the more that task is performed for them) and then they make pronouncement upon the sights that they see. This transcendental meditation employed by Western Anthropologists and Tourists alike, can be described in the following way,
From this new transcendental standpoint Husserl maintained that the manifold stream of contingent world-objects could be perceived in a new way, giving ‘a new kind of experience: transcendental experience’. The transcendental ego because a ‘disinterested onlooker’ whose only motive is neutrally to describe ‘what he sees, purely as seen, as what is seen and seen in such and such a manner’ (Rayment-Pickard, 2003)
Japanese tourists on the other hand do not go to provide symbols about sights, but to provide sights or images regarding symbolic locations. The symbolic sites visited by Japanese tourists, the named places, the named things, do not have the structure of the alibi (see Hansen, 1993) but are the signs themselves. That Japanese tourists go to places with literary, historical, named significant, that they vistic symbolic geographies as been ascribed (as all things Japanese always are) to their "groupism," and also, in the face of Westernisation, to their nostalgic desire to return to their historical routes, to their self. This latter interpretation hits the mark I think because the Japanese self is a space (Kanjin; Hamaguchi, 1997) , a primordial space (Nishida 1993; Watsuji 1979; see Mochizuki, 2006) a mirror (Kurozumi). When the self is a space, then the concept of travel presents inherent difficulties. How can space travel? I argue that the Japanese tourists’ interest in historical, literary, or otherwise famous named-places, and named-things is because it is not the place but the name that they are visiting. The Japanese travel to places precisely because they are "encrusted with renown," (Culler); and are all the more happy if as at shrines, or ruins, their is nothing to see because it is in the space of their mind that they provide the images to go with the otherness of the symbols that they are visiting. Indeed in a sense they do see that holy of holies, the mirror of the sun goddess in the internal space that is the Japanese mind.
Lacan argues that the self is at the presumed intersection of linguistic self signification -self narration, and visual self reflection, mirrorings and imagingings. Neither the symbolic nor the imaginary can say or see itself. The word can not enunciate the enunciated even in time since it is always delayed, defered (Derrida, 1998), never the person that it was what the attempt was started. Husserl’s "living present" is always already gone. Likewise, the minds eye is unable to see itself. It requires the admixture of an other, the image of oneself, the name of oneself for each to enable the self to wrap around upon itself and self itself into self hood. This admixture is to be kept to a minimum. The self image in the West is external, when identified a sign of vanity or ‘narcissism’. The word or symbol in Japan is external, and when internalised an impurity of mind (See Kim, 2002).
In either case, these essential impurities or ‘supplements,’ which are both required to complete and are additional to self(Derrida, 1998) are washed away in the experience of tourism when the Western and Japanese tourist meets the other as image or symbol respectively. The transcendental meditation for the Japanese tourist, at the British Museum, at the Named Place ruin of a famous castle, at the walls of Ise Shrine, becomes a interested visualiser of the place hidden in time, behind those walls. Souzou ga fukuramu. Images spring to mind. And even as the "Kankou" they shut their eyes to the world (Hitomi wo Tojiru) and call to mind the glory of the place they are visiting and in that experience, see themselves as the visual space, place or soul, that they believe themselves to be.
If either the Western tourist leaves something of himself it narratival. He signs a guest book. He narrates himself on a postcard (postcards are not sold for writing upon in Japan but only as packs, as symbolic souvenirs).
The Japanese tourist on the other hand provides the images, not just in her own mind, but also in the form of auto-photography so central to the tourism experience in Japan.
These differences have important implications for the tourist industries catering to Western and Japanese tourists.
When serving Japanese tourists it is important to provide the names, the narrative the guidebooks (which Japanese tourists themselves prepare in relative abundance), the words. They must also be provided the opportunity to provide images: above all to to imagine, and also to photograph themselves. Tourist destinations that do not have words related to them (iware no nai) are not of interest. Japanese tourist travel all the way to the lake district in the North of England, ignoring the beauty of the Powys hills completely, because the former have no literature – no words associated with them. They avoid the markets of London concentrating on the British museum and tower since the latter are redolent with renown. Japanese tourism providers need to counter the ocular turn of contemporary tourism theory and as the Japanese policy paper at the start of the ”tourism-oriented country" advocates a return to the original meaning of Kankou, or rather the provision of Kankou, which is not merely in the gaze directed, but in the of indication of facts, of nominal, symbolic entities.
"When promoting tourism it is therefore essential to return to this [etymological] origin of tourism, and create revolution in the very notion of tourism. The origin of tourism is not just looking at famous places and scenery, or seeing the sights, in regard to the the things that the local population feel happy about, to the things that the inhabitants of a certain land feel proud of and "indicating these highlights." (note 1)
Those especially in Japan however, who are catering to Western tourists should be aware that a place does not need to have a name for the Western tourist to want to visit it. In fact it helps if (other than the "markers" to find it) the destination is un-named "authentic" since the Western visitor provides the words. He is the words that he provides. These ethnographic, phenomenological tourists want to narrate, pronounce, theorise (what I am now doing) about the things that they see and in so doing they (I make myself shiver) have a transcendental experience of who they are, the words that drift across the universe of ‘exterior’ visual phenomena. Give us a view, any view, something to speak about, a picture and postcard, a picture postcard, above all give us something to see and some means by which they can narrate and we will be happy. There are such opportunities in every Japanese village not only the famous ones. Western tourist go to see spaces and places, and there is (or should be) much more for them to see. Alas at present, or until recently, the Japanese presume that their visitors are also Japanese and "indicate the highlights" (Kankou) or show the Named-places only. Very recently, there is a trend to promote regional tourism resources which do not have a name, this geographical tourism (shock!) had to be given a neologism "jitabi," since the very concept of simply going to see a place was alien to the Japanese.
Finally the above theoretical position resolves the problem how tourists can be going in search of authenticity (MacCannell, 1986) even in blatantly inauthentic "post tourism" (Urry, 2002) sites: on tour we bring ourselves to confront the other of the self, we find our self in maximal authenticity.
Bibliography created using Zotero
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Barthes, R. (1972). Mythologies. (A. Lavers, Trans.). Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Culler, J. D. (1988). Framing the sign. Univ. of Oklahoma Pr.
Derrida, J. (1998). Of grammatology. JHU Press.
Rayment-Pickard, H. (2003). Impossible God: Derrida’s theology. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Graburn, N. H. H. (1983). To pray, pay and play: the cultural structure of Japanese domestic tourism. Université de droit, d’économie et des sciences, Centre des hautes études touristiques.
Guichard-Anguis, S. (2009). The Culture of Travel (tabi no bunka) and Japanese Tourism. In A. Guichard-Anguis, O. Moon, & M. R. del Alisal (Eds.), Japanese Tourism and Travel Culture (1st ed., pp. 1–18). Routledge.
Kerr, A. (2002). Dogs and Demons: Tales from the Dark Side of Japan. Hill and Wang.
Hamaguchi, E. 恵俊浜口. (1982). 間人主義の社会日本(The Japanese Society of Spatial-Personism my trans). 東洋経済新報社.
Hansen, C. (1993). Chinese Ideographs and Western Ideas. The Journal of Asian Studies, 52(02), 373–399. doi:10.2307/2059652
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Hudson, M. (1999). Ruins of identity: ethnogenesis in the Japanese Islands. University of Hawaii Press.
Kim, H. (2002). We talk, therefore we think? A cultural analysis of the effect of talking on thinking. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
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Mach, E. (1897). Contributions to the Analysis of the Sensations. (C. M. Williams, Trans.). The Open court publishing company. Retrieved from www.archive.org/details/contributionsto00machgoog
Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. (2003) "Creating a Country which is Good to Live in and Good to Visit." www.kantei.go.jp/jp/singi/kanko/kettei/030424/houkoku.html#I
Mochizuki, T. (2006). Climate and Ethics: Ethical Implications of Watsuji Tetsuro’s Concepts:‘ Climate’ and‘ Climaticity’. Philosophia Osaka, 1, 43–55. Retrieved from ir.library.osaka-u.ac.jp/metadb/up/LIBPHILOO/po_01_043.pdf
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Nishida, K. (1993). Last Writings: Nothingness and the Religious Worldview. University of Hawaii Press.
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Parmeggiani, P., Burns, P. M., Lester, J. M., Bibbings, L., & others. (2010). Integrating multiple research methods: a visual sociology approach to Venice. Tourism and visual culture, Volume 2: Methods and cases, 94–110.
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Urry, J. (2002). The Tourist Gaze. SAGE.
Tomomitsu-Tomasson, J. (2005). Furusato and Theme Parks: Cultural Authenticity and Domestic Tourism. Furusato and Theme Parks: Cultural Authenticity and Domestic Tourism. Unpublished essay submitted for coursework: The Tourist Gaze, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University. Retrieved April 15, 2012, from www.lancs.ac.uk/postgrad/tomomits/authenticity.pdf
Watsuji, T. 和辻哲郎. (1979). 風土―人間学的考察 (Climate: Human Observation. My Trans.). 岩波書店.
Wells, E. J. (2011). Making ‘Sense’ of the Pilgrimage Experience of the Medieval Church. Peregrinations Journal, III(2), 122–146. Retrieved from peregrinations.kenyon.edu/vol3_2/raw_materials/Wells/Pere…
Wittgenstein, L. (1973). Philosophical Investigations (3rd ed.). Prentice Hall.
The [relevant passage] of the Tao Te Ching reads "*Indicating* [Shimesu, Kanagmiru] the lights of the country are good to use as hospitality for a king". where country mean the localities of contemporary China, and "lights" [highlights] refer to the superior or special things of that locality. (my translation, my emphasis, and my comments in brackets).
観光立国の推進に当たっては、まずはこうした「観光の原点」に立ち返ること、つまり「観光」概念の革新が必要になる。観光の原点は、ただ単に名所や風景などの「光を見る」ことだけではなく、一つの地域に住む人々がその地に住むことに誇りをもつことができ、幸せを感じられることによって、その地域が「光を示す」ことにある。 「国の光を観る」 −観光の原点−
I think that the primordial space of the Japanese self (Nishida’s ba), or the "climate" (Wasuji’s fudo) can best be understood from a Western perspective as the "Field of Vision" (Mach, 1897). The visual field pictured in Mach’s self portrait is usually seen, if existing at all, as being a form of barrier ("veil" "tain" or "hymen") between self and the world. To the Japanese this field, this primordial space, however, is the pure experience of self (Nishida, Zen no kenkyuu), as self-inseparable-from-spatial-other. This Japanese self is however separate from the world of symbols but, Japanese need the admixture of symbol, the name, their own name, for the Japanese child to believe that the their body houses this ephemeral mirror. In Japan it is precisely the linguistic which is public (Nakashima, 1997) and space, place and vision which as private as it gets. Taking a balanced view, neither images nor language are more private than the other, both requiring an other to have meaning, but it took Westerners almost two millenia to realise that language is meaningless if private (Wittgenstein, 1973).
SIBIU – Young women in traditional dresses
Image by Fergal of Claddagh
These young ladies were not uploaded for some technical reason or other, sorry! They are dressed in the style of clothing once popular in Sibiu. It would appear to have heavy influences of Germanic and Lutheran traditions.
Hermanstadt and the German Colonists
Sibiu’s history is closely linked to the history of the German colonists in Transylvania: it was them who founded Sibiu in the middle of the 12th century, on the remains of an old Slavic settlement.
With constant attacks coming from the Mongol tribes, it took Sibiu (or ‘Hermannstadt’ as it was called in the 13th century) three centuries until it reached its full potential.
By the mid 16th century, Sibiu was a flourishing medieval city, run by powerful craftsmen guilds and having developed strong political and commercial links with the Occidentals capitals. Although both Austro-Hungarians and Ottomans have tried to take over Sibiu in their numerous territorial conflicts, the city managed to heal its war wounds very fast and continued to progress. The German population continued to represent the majority; therefore, Sibiu became a Lutheran city after the Reform. In addition to its religious and commercial importance, Sibiu was the site of several scientific innovations: the first paper mill in Romania, the first pharmacy, the first printed book in Romanian language, the first rocket designed by Conrad Hass.
Sibiu as Part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire
When Transylvania became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Sibiu was chosen as the capital of the principality. When Romanians were finally granted the freedom of religion by Emperor Joseph II, Sibiu became the centre of Romanian Orthodoxy. This overlapped with the efforts made by Romanian intellectuals to revive national values and fight against Hungary’s annexation of Transylvania in 1867.