Sunday, October 14, 2012

Irish Hunger Memorial


Anyone guess what it is?

Well, I'll tell you.

The structure is the Irish Hunger Memorial, located in Battery Park City.


From around 1845-1852, a tremendous famine hit Ireland, killing over 1.5 million people. I learned about the Great Irish Hunger in my British History class last semester.

I learned that the Irish were seen as the lowest of the low by the British because they had different religious beliefs. Great Britain ruled over Ireland at the time, so their hatred resulted in terrible living conditions for the Irish.

The hunger is said to have been started by a fungus that arrived on a ship from America, and then contaminated the entire potato crop, the food they lived on. So the Irish starved.

To make matters worse, the British didn't do anything to help them.

Then came a huge blizzard, followed by a Typhus epidemic. It was really bad news.

As with most historical events, the Irish Hunger has tremendous significance in the larger picture of modern European and American history, which you can read about here.

The Irish Hunger Memorial, besides for being an incredibly cool piece of public art, is a very moving tribute to the Great Irish Famine.

There are many different sections of the memorial...

This walkway is lined with statistics, quotes and poems about the famine:

This garden contains stones from all the different counties in Ireland, as well as natural vegetation brought over from Western Ireland:

And this is an authentic 19th century Irish cottage:

All aspects of the Irish Hunger Memorial provide an in-depth history lesson of what happened during the Irish Hunger. Not to mention that it is an architectural masterpiece, which I enjoyed very much.

For more information about the Memorial, check out this informative website.

But wait! While you're in the area...

A few feet away from the Irish Hunger Memorial is Rockefeller Park, in which this lovely little enclave resides:

This little pond is brimming with shimmery fish, storybook lillypads, sluggish turtles, and boasts a gentle waterfall. I was so enchanted by the scene that I sincerely wished I had the time of day to sit down and relax by its soothing waters.

What a find!

While the days are still long, and before the leaves completely fall off the trees, I hope to visit Battery Park City again. And if anyone cares to join me, I would love some company :-).

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