Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cair Paravel?

Is it the ruins of Cair Paravel in Narnia? Actually it is the ruins of Dunluce Castle on the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland. C. S. Lewis grew up not far from here in Belfast and as a child he often went on holiday with his mother and brother to the Antrim Coast. Thus Dunluce, perched prettily on a cliff above the ocean, may have served as inspiration for Cair Paravel.

The ruins of Dunluce are intriguing in their beauty, and the ruins of Cair Paravel at the beginning of Prince Caspian are intriguing in their mystery. C. S. Lewis once said that Prince Caspian was a story about recovering faith in an age of unbelief. When the Pevensie children return to Narnia and land at Cair Paravel they do not recognize the place, at first, as their old home. But slowly the reality dawns on them. Perhaps recovering faith in God in an age of unbelief is kind of like that. As T.S. Eliot once wrote, "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

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