St Machar's Cathedral

Aberdeen, United Kingdom

St Machar's Cathedral

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St Machar's Cathedral usually called Old Machar (Scottish Gaelic: Cathair-eaglais Naomh Machar), (or, more formally, the Cathedral Church of St Machar) is a Church of Scotland church in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is located to the north of the city centre, in the former burgh of Old Aberdeen. Technically, St Machar's is no longer a cathedral but rather a high kirk, as it has not been the seat of a bishop since 1690.

St Machar is said to have been a companion of St Columba on his journey to Iona. A fourteenth-century legend tells how God (or St Columba) told Machar to establish a church where a river bends into the shape of a bishop's crosier before flowing into the sea. The River Don bends in this way just below where the cathedral now stands. According to legend, St Machar founded a site of worship in Old Aberdeen in about 580. Machar's church was superseded by a Norman cathedral in 1131, shortly after David I transferred the See from Mortlach to Aberdeen. Almost nothing of that original cathedral survives; a lozenge-decorated base for a capital supporting one of the architraves can be seen in the Charter Room in the present church.

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