Saturday, September 28, 2013

Aberdeen's Public Gardens: St. Nicholas Kirkyard

One of the dominant landmarks in downtown Aberdeen (the "city centre") is St. Nicholas Kirk, and although it's not a bona fide "public garden", it may as well be. In addition to a lot of really old graves, St. Nicholas Kirkyard features a bunch of park benches. One of my favorite memories of my time here in Aberdeen was in either late July or early August, when I spent a couple of hours on one of the benches reading one of my favorite books of all time, Starship Troopers. Now, there are two places that I'll associate that book with: a middle school parking lot in my home town, and St. Nicholas Kirkyard in Aberdeen.

As you can see from that linked satellite view, St. Nicholas Kirk is right next to the twin malls of Bon Accord and St. Nicholas, the latter of which is obviously named after the kirk. (I'll be writing about the kirk itself soon.) What I want to bring your attention to is the sort-of-public-garden that's on top of the St. Nicholas mall. The gates to St. Nicholas Kirkyard close at 6:00 PM nightly, which is to say that the kirkyard has some really cool gates, and in addition to adjoining the streets, one of them adjoins to that public area over the adjacent mall.

I actually remember both St. Nicholas Kirk and the kirkyard (just a touch) from when I was in Aberdeen in 2004, and I actually included it in my initial maps of Aberdeen that longtime readers may remember from last year. The kirkyard, particularly the northern area near those malls (that's off Aberdeen's main drag, Union Street), is a really cool refuge in Aberdeen's otherwise bustling market district. Even though Scotland's relative secularism means that there are probably far more people who enjoy the benches than attend prayers or services at the kirk, it's almost tough to blame them - almost.

No comments:

Post a Comment