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St. Malachy's Church
St. Malachy's Church Review
Opened in 1844, St. Malachy's Church is one of the most impressive redbrick Tudor Revival churches in Ireland. One of the interior highlights is the densely patterned fan-vaulted ceiling, a delightfully swirling masterpiece of plasterwork—whose inspiration was taken from the chapel of Henry VII at Westminster Abbey in London—tastefully repainted in cream. The high altarpiece featuring Pugin's Journey to Calvary was originally carried out by the portraitist Felix Piccioni whose family were refugees to Belfast from Austrian Italy. In 1868 the largest bell in Belfast was added to the church but after complaints that its deafening noise was interfering with the maturing of whiskey in the nearby Dunville distillery, it was wrapped in felt to soften its peal and vibration. Along the southeast wall of the church gazing out in contemplative mood with his brown eyes and torn chocolate brown coat is the delicate Statue of the Ragged Saint. St. Benedict Joseph Labre, the patron saint of the unemployed, welcomes visitors into the ethereal elegance of one of Belfast's most architecturally romantic buildings which was given a complete facelift in a 2009 restoration.
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