Whether or not you are of a religious persuasion, the Catholic Church of Christ the King at Turner’s Cross in Cork City is an impressive building. Constructed between 1929 and 1931 at a cost of £30,000, it is a true Art Deco masterpiece along the lines of the Chrysler Building or the Golden Gate Bridge.
Despite its spiritual purpose, there is a touch of Hollywood about the Church of Christ the King, one of the few Irish churches to be designed by a foreign architect. Numerous legends have grown up around it, including the myth that Chicago architect F. Barry Byrne (a pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright) never actually visited Cork, although it is true that he only visited the site and never saw the completed building. The first Irish church to be constructed from concrete rather than brick, it features one of the biggest suspended ceilings of any European church and can seat 1,200.
The design is surprisingly daring, especially when you consider the conservative nature of 1920s Catholic Ireland, but it never sparked much reaction on completion. The Art Deco movement influenced the design of many Irish buildings from the 1930s on, but the design of Irish churches tended to ignore the trend and stick to traditional styles, making the Church of Christ the King even more remarkable.
Based on elongated octagon, the church is longer at the front and rear, with a cascade of reinforced concrete pillars linking the side walls to the front and back towers. Instead of proper windows in the side walls, the pillars are interspersed with a series of tall, narrow openings. Additional light flows in from above through the long, glass, roof apex. The entrance is marked by a stunning 6m statue of Christ, with arms reaching out above the two doors to greet worshippers. Designed by Chicago sculptor John Storrs, it was sculpted by local man John Maguire.
We can’t promise any Art Deco masterpieces on our list of properties, but if you are interested in seeing the Church of Christ the King for yourself, PlacesToStay.com can offer you a great choice of holiday homes in Cork to suit every taste and budget.
Image Credits: turnerscross.com