On Tuesday, May 9th, we planned that Bo would drive us all to Saint Andrews, about 1.5 hours to the northwest of Edinburgh, to see the ruins of Saint Andrews Cathedral. It turned out to be one of those ‘postcard’ days, as the posted photos will show.
The featured photo shows the view looking west from the top of what is now referred to as Rule’s Tower, which is the only section that remains of one of at least three Roman Catholic churches that had been built on the site of Saint Andrews Cathedral. The first church was founded by the King of the Picts in the 8th century, at around the time that legend says that Saint Rule (also known as Saint Regulus) brought relics of the apostle Saint Andrew to Scotland from Patras in Greece, where he had been crucified. The apostle Andrew was adopted as the patron saint of the Picts, and later of Scotland. The saltire, or X-shaped cross that adorns the Scottish flag, which is believed to be the oldest flag in Europe, is the symbol of Saint Andrew, because it is said that he chose to be crucified on an X-shaped cross, because he felt he wasn’t worthy to die in the same manner as Christ Jesus.
The second church, built around 1130, was the Church of Saint Regulus, of which this tower was a part, and which was retained during the construction of the third church, Saint Andrews Cathedral. Construction began on the cathedral in 1158, and it was consecrated in 1318 in the presence of King Robert I (Robert the Bruce). The Cathedral of Saint Andrew was looted in 1559, during the early stages of the Scottish Reformation, and it fell into disuse starting in 1561, after Catholic mass was outlawed in Scotland. At 391 feet long, it was for some time the largest church to have been built in Scotland
In the distance lies the city of Saint Andrews, with the University of Saint Andrews on the far right.