Christ Church Cathedral is a must see for any tourist trip to Dublin. I will not go into the detail of the history of the the church, as that's pretty much the point of visiting and partaking in the tours on offer. Needless to say, that for a church founded in c. 1030, there is plenty of history and information held within its walls.
I do recommend going into the crypt of the church where there is no shortage of artifacts on display, even a mummified cat and rat!!
The entrance fee was €6, with the option of paying an extra €4 for a tour of the bell tower. We paid the extra, and were very happy that we did. The tour lasts about 30 minutes and gives some more detail about the history of the church, and in particular the rivalry with St. Patricks Cathedral. You are also given a lesson in bell ringing and given the chance to rings the bells in the Cathedral.. which is not as easy as you may first think!
Christ Church Cathedral rises impressively from the streetscape of Dublin. The precinct of the Cathedral also housed an Augustinian prior before the Protestant Reformation, the ruins of which can be seen immediately outside the front doors. The interior of Christ Church contains a great deal of medieval "building fabric," but what visitors see of the exterior is largely the result of a massive 19th Century Victorian-era "restoration" that was completely under the supervision of promient English church architect G. E. Street (1824-1881). Street used almost 4000 tons of Caen limestone in re-facing the Cathedral. Happily, there are still plenty of signs of its origins in the Early Romanesque style, particularly the narrow pointed windows in the nave, and the short squat tower at the crossing.
According to the official Christ Church Cathedral Visitor's Guide, "the chancel contains little of Pre-Victorian date. Three 12th century arches have been retained, those cast of the crossing "in situ," and that over the eastern arch removed from the north side of the old long quire. . . The remainder of the chancel is pure fantasy on Street's part, and enjoyable at that."
Oh - and a lot of "The Tudors" miniseries was filmed here, both many of the "church scenes" as well a variety of others that were filmed in the crypt.
Christ Church Cathedral (The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity) was founded on the former site of an old wooden Viking church (built in 1038). The present stone cathedral was begun 140 years later, a huge construction work that continued into the 13th century...
Over the years the cathedral has been changed many times, and much of its medieval character is now gone, but still very impressive both outside and inside. The huge nave has some interesting side chapels (like the Chapel of St. Laurence O'Toole), the old choir, the stained glass windows, the tomb of Strongbow, and many beautiful decorated floor tiles. Down in the medieval crypt you’ll find the oldest known secular carvings in Ireland, the Treasures of Christ Church exhibition, and a mummified cat and rat...
Established by king Sitric and Dublin's first bishop, Dunan, Christ Church Cathedral is one of the city's oldest buildings and main landmarks. Rebuilt it the late 12th century, it fell into disrepair and had to be extensively renovated by George Street seven centuries later. The crypt's restoration had to wait even longer - till the year 2000.
Once inside, the highlights are:
- Great Nave, which is over 25 meters high, and with fragments of the 12th century building's walls. One of the walls has an incline of over half a meter from having to support the weight of the roof
- Strongbow Monument, although most historians believe the image is actually not that of Strongbow himself. That said, as Strongbow is buried in the Cathedral, you never know
- The Crypt, restored in 2000. Today it houses most of the Cathedral's artistic treasures. A big chunk of the Cathedral's current collection has been gifted by the British King William III in celebration of a military victory
Initially built in 1038 the cathedral suffered several transformations until the Victorian period when they decided to restore it following its medieval characteristics.
Mixing some original details with pastiche, it keeps being a good example of medieval religious architecture.
This is Dublins oldest stone building and was built on the site of the wooden church of king Sitric Silkenbeards (1038).
A church was commissioned here by Richard de Clare in 1172.
During the 16th and 17th centuries the crypt was used as a market, meeting place and a pub.
After Henry VIII broke with Rome became the first dean of Christ Church in 1541.
In 1562 the nave roof collapsed leaving the cathedral in ruins. Temporary measures to the fallen roof remained in place until 1870 until Henry Roe, a local whisky distiller, paid architect George Edmund Street to restore the church.
Restoration work took place in the 1980's and 1990's including the crypt.
The exhibition "Treasures of Christ Church" reflects a 1000 years of history, worship and architecture in
christ church cathedral was established by the hiberno-norse king silkbeard. the church was rebuilt in 1186 by archbishop john cumin and again in 1870 by architech george street. for those interested in history and gothic architecture this beautiful church is a must see site in dublin.
Christchurch is unmissable, and no, I dont mean the one in New Zealand.
It was built during the Viking era (900-1000 AD) and there is now a Viking exhibition across the street from Christchurch that you can visit.
here's a crappy photo of the roof, i couldnt get it all into the camera viewfinder :)
One of the cities main churches. A church was first built on this site by the Norse King Sitric in 1038 but being made of wood it didn't last too long.
On my most recent trip to Dublin we actually went inside and had a look around the main cathedral as well as down in the crypt. You get given an information sheet/map that points out items and areas of interest with some explanation which makes it more interesting. If you are here keep an eye out for the mummified cat and mouse. They were found trapped behind an organ, presumably mid chase!
Entry was 5 Euro but free with a Dublin Pass
The earliest manuscript dates Christ Church cathedral to its present location around 1030. By 1152 it was incorporated into the Irish church.
Laurence O’Toole acted directly in diplomatic efforts between the Dubliners and the Anglo-Normans including Strongbow (Richard de Clare) following the capture of the city in 1170. In 1395 King Richard II sat in state in the cathedral to receive homage from the kings of the four Irish provinces O'Neill of Ulster, McMurrough of Leinster, O'Brien of Munster and O'Connor of Connacht. In 1487 Lambert Simnel, pretender to the English throne in the reign of Henry VII was ‘crowned’ in Christ Church as Edward VI.
In the sixteenth century, reform again came from England when Henry VIII broke from Rome. In 1562, the nave roof vaulting collapsed and Strongbow’s tomb was smashed, the current tomb being a contemporary replacement from Drogheda. The cathedral was in ruins and emergency rebuilding took place immediately. This temporary solution lasted until the 1870s! In 1689 King James attended Mass. One year later, returning from the Battle of the Boyne on 6 July 1690, King William III gave thanks for his victory over King James II and presented a set of gold communion plate to the cathedral.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Christ Church’s crypt was used as a market, a meeting place for business, and at one stage even a pub.
In 1742 the cathedral choir together with the choir of St Patrick’s cathedral sang at the world premiere of Handel's Messiah in nearby Fishamble Street.
The Church Temporalities Act of 1833 brought partial disendowment and impoverished what had been one of the wealthiest ecclesiastical corporations in Ireland.
The cathedral as it exists today is heavily Victorianised due to the extensive restorations and renovations carried out by the architect George Edmund Street (between 18718) at the expense of a Dublin whiskey distiller, Henry Roe, who gave £230,000 (£23m today!) to save the cathedral.
Christ Church also known as the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity was founded in 1030 C.E. in Dublin's Medieval District and is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. The Cathedral is in Gothic style architecture and is operated by the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough. It is also the cathedral of the Ecclesiastical province of the United Provinces of Dublin and Cashel in the Church of Ireland. Oddly, Christ Church is also officially claimed as the seat of both the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin. Originally Catholic then taken over by the Church of Ireland after the English Reformation. The Church sits next to Wood Quay and is connected to the Dublinia Medieval Museum by means of a dual carriage-way building overpass. The first cathedral was founded after 1028 C.E. after the Hiberno-Norse King of Dublin, King Sitric Silkenbeard made his quest to Rome. Dunan or Donat became the first bishop that answered to Canterbury rather than the Irish Church. THe Church was built on high ground overlooking the Wood Quay Viking Settlement. Secular clergy operated the first cathedral, then in 1163, the Benedictines came in and it was converted to a Priory of the Regular Order of Arrosian Canons (Reformed Augustinian Rule) after some time which was subsequently headed by an Augustinian Prior until re-establishment in 1541 after the English Reformation in 1539. This became the Priory of the Holy Trinity which was the wealthiest religious entity in Ireland possessing over 10,000 acres of land in Dublin alone. The Church became the new church structure of King Henry VIII when he converted the Priory to a Cathedral with a Dean and Chapter. In 1547, King Edward VI suppressed St. Patrick's Cathedral and had its treasures transferred over to Christ Church. This was reversed by Queen Mary in 1558. Queen Mary I and James I of England increased Christ Church's funding and assets. By 1560 the Bible had its first reading in English at Christ Church. Repairs and maintenance was performed on the Cathedra from 1829-1831 and then extensively renovated and rebuilt from 1871-1878 by George Edmund Street. This demolished the 14th century choir with a new eastern end and chapter house built over the original crypt, and the tower and south nave arcade was rebuilt. More renovations were achieved from 1980-1982. The Cathedral contains the tomb of the medieval Norman-Welsh warlord Strongbow and is located in the nave. There is some debate on whether or not it really is Strongbow's tomb as the original tomb was destroyed centuries ago and purported to have moved here. This tomb was used as the venue for legal agreements from the 16th-18th centuries. Behind the organ in the choir is the infamous mummified "Cat and Mouse" that was found trapped there and mummified by the dry air of the cathedral. The cathedral crypt, constructed in 1172-1173, is the largest crypt of its type in all of Britain and Ireland. The Crypt contains the oldest known secular carvings in Ireland, a tabernacle and set of candlesticks used when the cathedral last operated under Roman Rite, the stocks made in 1670 used to punish offenders before the Court of the Dean's Liberty, and historic books and altar goods.
I just loved this building. She is really a real lady.
The Cathedral was founded in the year c.1030 by Sitriuc, King of the Dublin Norsemen. Christ Church Cathedral is one of Dublin's oldest and most recognised landmarks. Dating back to the eleventh century, the Cathedral and the exhibition "Treasures of Christ Church" reflect 1000 years of history, architecture and worship in Ireland. Christchurch Cathedral embodies both the Viking and Medieval history of Dublin
Treasures of Christchurch displays a unique range of manuscripts, historic artefacts and spectacular examples of gold and silverware.
Sept-May 9.45am - 5pm(Last entry 4.15pm)
June-Aug 9am - 6pm (Last entry 5.15pm)
Group Admission Prices:
Discounted joint admission tickets for Christ Church Cathedral and Dublinia are available from the welcome desk.
Visit the cathedral gift shop and "Treasures of Christ Church" exhibition in the medieval crypt.
This is the original cathedral of Norse Dublin, founded in 1030 by King Sitric, and is Dublins' oldest building.
Highlights include the medieval crypt, a magnificent display of church treasures, and the tomb of Strongbow - leader of the Normans.
Linked to the cathedral by the Victorian footbridge is Dublinia & The Viking World - one of the city's most popular heritage centres that explores the history of the medieval city and the Viking World.
I read multiple reviews on it before visiting and when i realized how close my hostel was to it i decided to give it a go. Although i am not big on visiting cathedrals, it's nothing personal as i am Catholic. I just normally dont find them all that intresting. But when you go inside this one it is Amazing, i really enjoyed it. Next time i am in Dublin i might actually see it again, which is something i normally dont do.
Christ Church cathedral was founded around 1030 by Sitric, king of the Dublin Norsemen. I didn't visit this church either as once again there was an admission fee of £6 and it was not included on my Heritage Card although it is included as part of the Heritage Island Touring Guide. But I did enjoy poking around the grounds and taking a few pictures, on the street side you'll see a bridge reminiscent of Venice's Bridge of Sighs, this was a Victorian era addition to the structure. On the backside of the church you'll find part of the old city walls and gate dating to 1240.