Red Conwy Castle for St David's Day

Conwy Castle was lit up tonight in honour of St David's Day. After celebrating (by eating too many Welshcakes) I thought some people may like a little lesson in history. Writing for History Extra, a spokesperson for Cadw, the Welsh government's historic environment service, reveals that:

'On 1 March Wales pays homage to St David, the celebrated patron saint. He was born around the year 520 – some 1,500 years ago. As a young man David became a monk and is said to have founded a monastery close to the place where he was born. The surrounding area (in Pembrokeshire, west Wales) is now known simply as ‘St Davids’. It’s believed that St Davids Cathedral and St Davids Bishop’s Palace are built on the site of the original monaster. While preaching to a crowd in the village of Llanddewi Brefi, David is thought to have performed his most famous miracle: some of the crowd were finding it difficult to hear the sermon, when a white dove landed on David’s shoulder. As it did, the ground on which he stood is said to have risen up to form a mighty hill, making it possible for the gathering crowd to finally see and hear him. The dove became St David’s emblem, often appearing in his portraits and on stained-glass windows depicting him. Today, a church stands on the crest of the special hill. St David’s influence was not limited to Wales – churches and chapels dedicated to David can also be found in south-west England, Ireland and Brittany.

St David is believed to have died on 1 March 589. After St David’s death, a shrine was built in his honour at his cathedral. Pope Callistus II thought of it so highly that he declared to Catholics that two pilgrimages to the shrine was worth one to the Vatican in Rome. The tenor Dewi Sant bell in the cathedral weighs 2,700lbs'.

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