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St. Patrick's Cathedral

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You don't need to be interested in religion to find St. Patrick's Cathedral a visitor attraction with the 'wow'' factor, and a must-see place in Dublin city. It is now a Protestant Anglican church with a vivid history from Norman times to the present.

The existing cathedral is built on the site of the original 12 th century church, though little now survives of the earliest building besides the Baptistry. It is the largest church in Ireland and also has the tallest spire at 43 metres. It is not precisely clear when the church became a cathedral, although the first written record documenting it as such is from the 1300.

The church has a long and colourful history through the Ages, especially during the Medieval and 16 th and 17 th centuries which is worth both seeing and learning about. A hole in the door is attributed to an Earl who cut a hole in the door, which still remains. He pushed his arm through, attempting to make peace with another Earl in 1492. It is believed this is the origin of the famous Irish expression 'chancing your arm''.

Other notable events associated with the cathedral include Oliver Cromwell, (who 'conquered'' Ireland for the British and seized Irish lands for British settlements) using the nave of the church as a stables for his horses to show his disdain for the Anglican religion of the church at the time in the 1600s. Jonathan Swift, author of the infamous Gulliver's Travels, was the Dean of St. Patrick's during the 1700s.

As you approach the cathedral, its massive Gothic styled exterior invites you into a place of rich history. This place is a symbol of the power and authority of the Church of Ireland. The grounds surrounding the cathedral are nearly an attraction in themselves. Manicured lawns, ponds, fountains, flower beds - a beautiful backdrop to a pristinely maintained ancient cathedral.

Entering into the cathedral, you immediately feel very small and insignificant, a result of both the unprecedented beauty of the cathedral, and its imposing dimensions. The floor is covered in vivid and beautiful coloured tiles in Celtic and medieval designs as well as symmetrical patterns. Bright blues, reds, greens and yellows are incredibly intricate and interesting, and the visitor is torn between looking up at the stunning vaulted arch ceiling and down at the rainbow coloured floor. Dark wood carved pews lined with red velvet give a sense of both the importance and the authority of the cathedral. Stunning stained glass windows and medieval style banners draw the eye are like a great garnish on an already delicious delight.

The cathedral is located off Clanbrassil St. Dublin 8, and is only a 10 minute walk from either Christ Church Cathedral or Dublinia and the Viking World.

While this is still a functioning cathedral, there is a charge for visitors to enter and there are no guided tours to avail of. The cathedral does however provide multilingual guides for the cathedral which you can download from its website. A visit during Evensong at 5.30 pm is highly recommended to leave you with that awe-inspiring feeling.

The cathedral is open for visits

March to October:
Monday - Friday: 09.00am - 17.00pm
Saturday: 09.00am - 18.00pm
Sunday: 16.30pm - 18.00pm

November to February:
Monday - Friday: 09.00am - 17.00pm
Saturday: 09.00am - 17.00pm
Sunday: 09.00am - 10.30am and 12.30pm -14.30pm


 

 

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