What do the Deck of Cards in Cobh, Ireland and the Painted Ladies, sometimes called Seven Sisters, of San Francisco, California have in common? Many would say the obvious which is the distinctive different colours on the houses, and understandibly so. Visitors from Europe and Ireland would like to see the charming houses on West View and tourist from San Francisco, California would swing by Steiner and Hayes St to check these glaring residences.
The location of both houses, Cobh, Ireland and San Francisco, California USA, are historic on their own right. Cobh was the last port of call of the ill-fated Titanic. Here you can explore the Titanic Experience Museum, Titanic Memorial Garden and the Heartbreak Pier which is the last land contanct of the Titanic. Seeing the Deck of Cards is really a big sightseeing bonus if you are in town.
San Francisco is, of course, another famous and touristy port town. It is also a very artistic area with a multicultural vibe, just look at Chinatown which is one of the most visited places because of food and restaurants.
The similarities are also apparent on their association with their prison history. Not too far from the main city of SF is the infamous island of Alcatraz where they once housed many of the dangerous criminals like Al Capone and George (“Machine Gun”) Kelly, Cobh has its own version in Spike Island, a very very scary place for prisoners during wartime and unrest. Both institutions are close down already and are available for tours.
For the architecture buffs, the main attraction of these houses would have to be era-style construction. Cobh’s Deck of Cards houses are fashioned on the 1850 Victorian design, while the Painted Ladies have the stylings of Victorian and Edwardian. Seeing them side by side or in close proximity with each other add the charm of these beautiful old houses that stand the test of time.
Another fascinating feature of these rows of houses is that they were built at an angle in the hill. There’s a certain photographic drama when you see them ascending or descending depending on your vantage point. Cobh’s Deck of Cards are particularly amazing with the gothic St Colman’s Cathedral on the background.
I’m sure there are many more can be written about these two housing gems, but if there’s something that is worth remembering on this post is how stunning these colourful houses are. As usual, you are welcome to add your inputs on the comment section.
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