Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

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Lord Edward Street, Dublin 2 +353 1 677 8099

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  • Gypsystravels's Profile Photo

    Christ Church

    by Gypsystravels Updated Oct 9, 2009

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    Christ Church Cathedral is a stunning structure and well worth a visit. The church was established by the "Hiberno-Norse king of Dublin in the 11th century and later rebuilt by an "Anglo-Norman bishop" in the late 12th centry. In the 16th century is was further altered by King Henry the VIII.

    Located on the grounds of Christ Church are some ruins. The cathedral has a stunning gothic nave and beautiful alter. There is a crypt which was recently restored and the Treasury located in the crypt has a small "silver exhibit" as well. (PHTOGRAPHS ARE NOT ALLOWED OF THIS EXHIBIT)

    There is a charge of 5 Euros to enter the cathedral and during service visitors are not allowed inside.

    Check out their scedule before visiting.

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    Strongbow's tomb and a cat mummy!

    by Jefie Written May 22, 2009

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    Dating back to 1038, Christ Church Cathedral is often described as the most beautiful church in Dublin, and perhaps rightfully so. It underwent an extensive period of restoration in the 19th century and the result, though far from being faithful to the cathedral's original Medieval design, is quite tasteful and elegant. There are a number of interesting features that are sure to catch the attention of visitors: one of them is the purported tomb of Strongbow (the original one was destroyed when the cathedral's roof collapsed in 1562), and another is the small casket containing the heart of St. Laurence O'Toole. The cathedral's crypt is over 60 m long and it was open to visitors after its restoration in 2000. It contains a collection of historical relics, most of which I found more or less interesting. I did however liked the mummies of the cat and the rat - the story goes that the rat, trying to escape from the cat that was chasing it, ran into an organ pipe to hide. The cat ran after it and got stuck - both animals died and the dry air in the cathedral mummified their bodies. Kinda spooky but really neat to see!

    Christ Church Cathedral is open daily. Admission: 6 Euros.

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    Christ Church Cathedral

    by rcsparty Written May 9, 2009

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    The church was first constructed in the 11th century and restored in the 14th century. It is the oldest landmark in Dublin and well worth a visit. The church was originally built as a Catholic Church by Strongbow, but eventually became an Anglican Church. The inside of the church is beautiful and the crypt is an interesting stop.

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    Christ Church Cathedral

    by Mikebb Updated Mar 24, 2009

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    If you are into visiting Cathedrals you are in luck as Christ Church Cathedral and St Patrick's Cathedral are within a minutes walk of each other.

    The existing Cathedral was rebuilt in 1186 and and completely remodelled by architect George Street during the 1870's.

    The Cathedral is Church of Ireland, (Anglican). We did not have sufficient time to visit both Cathedrals and chose to enter St Patrick's.

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    Christ Church Cathedral

    by Goner Updated Nov 24, 2008

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    Christ Church was founded by the King Sitric of Norway in 1030 - it's Dublin's oldest building. Must sees are the medieval crypt and tombs of the Normans. Linked to the church by a Victorian footbridge is Dublinia and the Viking world, a heritage center that explores the medieval city and the Vikings.

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  • WanderingFinn's Profile Photo

    The beautiful huge Christ Church Cathedral

    by WanderingFinn Updated Sep 2, 2008
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    The Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin was founded in 1038, by the Norse king Sitric Silkenbeard.

    There is one unique proof of the preservative quality of the air in the cathedral: there are more than 150 years old mummified bodies of a cat and a rat that were found accidentally. The other one had been chasing the other, and they were trapped in an organ pipe. They are still seen in a glass box inside the church.

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    Christchurch cathedral

    by call_me_rhia Written Aug 17, 2008

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    Christchurch cathedral is a beautiful church right at the top of dame street... you'll recognize it by its dimension and by the fact that it has a sort of arched bridge at the back, linking the cathedral to another builing, while cars drive under it.

    Just as you get to the church, outside, you'll see some ruins of the old chapter house - they date back to the 13th century. When you go inside, sights are plenty... I obviously have my personal favourites.

    - the grave of the Norman king Strongbow, who died in 1176/7 and who was one of the founders of this cathedral

    - the amazing pavements... stand right by the altar and look back, admire the decorations on the floor. They are lavish (enlarge the small photos to see what I mean)

    - the walls of the nave... again best viewed from the altar, looking back. The walls of the romanesque arches on your right are leaning by 18 inches.

    - the medieval crypt... I saw it grow, at the beginning it was just heaps of stones with no particular order, now it has been reconstructed as it once was in the 13th century.

    Entrance to Christchurch cathedral (May 2008) is 6 euros for adults, and the reason why there's an entry charge is that the church doesn't receive any state aid - entrance is free during services, though. While not being religious, I remember attending quite a few times the choral evensong late in the afternoon, just because the choir is so excellent.

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    Not my thing...

    by iaint Written Apr 19, 2008

    My buddy loves visiting churches. Not sure why - she's not religious in any way. I hate them because when I was a kid, attendance was compulsory every Sunday until I was 16.

    I am curious, so the Blue Mosque in Istanbul was interesting because I'd never been inside a mosque before. Similarly I've been interested enough to visit a Russian Orthodox church or a Buddhist temple. However I did not like St Peters or Notre Dame - maybe because they're more tourist attractions than churches.

    Anyway, Christ Church did nothing for me. Sure its part of the history for the country and city, but a dull part as far as I'm concerned (spoken like a true agnostic).

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    Oldest building in Dublin

    by enjoytravelling Updated Mar 21, 2008

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    Christ Church Cathedral dates from 1037, when it was founded by the viking king Sitric Silkenbread. It is the oldest building in Dublin.

    You will discover the medieval crypt and the famous tomb of Strongbow, leader of the Normans who captured Dublin in 1170.

    Entry charge 5€.

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    Church Christ Cathedral

    by manevska Written Jan 24, 2008

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    Over 1000 years old, it's the oldest buliding in Dublin. It was first built out of wood and was later re-built form stone. The original arches were round but in later years were changed to more pointed onces- it gives the cathedral very gothic style.

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    Dont miss the Christ Church Cathedral

    by bwk_michael Written Sep 26, 2007

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    Christ Church Cathedral (The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, commonly known as Christ Church, Cathedral of the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and Metropolitical Cathedral of the United Provinces of Dublin and Cashel) in Dublin is the elder of the city's two mediæval cathedrals, the other being St. Patrick's. It has been the seat of the archbishop of Dublin (initially solely Roman Catholic, then Church of Ireland) since mediæval times, though for many centuries, it shared this status with St. Patrick's. It is located at the end of Dame Street and the beginning of Patrick Street, overlooking the River Liffey.

    The cathedral was begun in 1038 by King Sitric Silkenbeard, the Danish Viking King of Dublin, for the first Bishop of Dublin, Donat or Donagh (the Diocese of Dublin was at that time a small island surrounded by a huge Diocese of Glendalough, and answered to Canterbury). The church was built on the high ground overlooking the Viking settlement of Wood Quay and Sitric gave the "lands of Baldoyle, Raheny and Portrane for its maintenance."Of the four old Celtic Christian churches reputed to have existed around Dublin, only one, dedicated to St. Martin of Tours, lay within the walls of the Viking city, and so Christ Church was one of just two churches for the whole city.

    Originally staffed by secular clergy, the second Bishop of Dublin introduced the Benedictines, and then in 1163, Christ Church was converted to a Priory of the Regular Order of Arrosian Canons (Reformed Augustinian Rule) by the second Archbishop of Dublin, later Saint, Laurence O'Toole, who adhered to the rule himself; it was subsequently headed by an Augustinian Prior, who ranked as the second ecclesiastical figure of the diocese, and not a Dean, until re-establishment in 1541.

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    Christ Church Cathedral

    by Pieter11 Written Jul 9, 2007

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    Inside the Cathedral
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    The Christ Church Cathedral is the oldest one of the two medieval cathedrals in Dublin. The other one is St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Sitric, the King of the “Dublin Norsemen”, inaugurated Christ Church Cathedral in 1038. The church was a gift of the first bishop of Dublin, named Dunan. Later, in 1169, they church was rebuilt in a stone version.

    In this new, stone version a huge crypt was built. It is a unique one in the Republic of Ireland, because of its extreme size: almost the complete surface of the ground floor of the church. In this crypt you can find the most interesting things of the cathedral: several old statues and tombs and the famous mummifications of the cat and the mouse that were found in one of the organ pipes in the 1860’s.

    Above ground, in the church itself, you can see more interesting statues and the impressive architecture with gothic arches and domes. The cathedral is free to visit, but a small donation is very much appreciated. The church is open from 9:00 until 17:00 or 18:00 o’clock, depending on the season and the days of the week.

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  • mitchimitch's Profile Photo

    Visit the oldest mediæval cathedral in Dublin

    by mitchimitch Written Jun 11, 2007

    Christ Church Cathedral is the oldest mediæval cathedral in Dublin. The cathedral, built in 1038 by King Sitric Silkenbeard, the Viking King of Dublin, has been the seat of the archbishop of Dublin (initially Roman Catholic, then Church of Ireland) since mediæval times. It also contains the largest cathedral crypt in Britain or Ireland.

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    Favourite things in Christchurch

    by Ruai Written Apr 1, 2007

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    Cat and Mouse

    - Some original carvings form the 12th century, including two small human faces.

    - The lady chapel, where you can write a request for prayers to be said, if you so wish

    - The rather macabre reliquary of the heart of St Laurence O’Toole, patron saint of the city and still much prayed to by an older generation. He was the last Irish Archbishop of Dublin before the Norman invasion in 1170 and following his death in 1180, was succeeded by an Anglo-Norman archbishop.

    - The Cat and the rat – discovered in an organ pipe in 1860 (kids are going to love these!)

    - The Crypt – Sadly not very scary. This area once was used to store many of the goods of the city, as it was dry and secure. Now there are various exhibits including the stocks of the liberties, the area in the city under the control of the Dean of the Cathedral (bring your own rotten vegetables!) and the treasury where much of the collection of the Cathedral is to be found.

    - The city and state pews (seats). These pews are used on official occasions for the Lord Mayor of Dublin and the President of Ireland respectively. The state pew was originally used by the representative of the King in Ireland until independence and still has the royal arms of the house of Stuart on it.

    - The Central aisle of the church- unlike so many medieval cathedrals, Christchurch’s relatively light coloured stone, gives an airiness to its central Aisle, which I’ve always found appealing.

    - This is a sound rather than a sight, but the bells of Christchurch are quite lovely and now are apparently one of the biggest sets in the world. Traditionally Christchurch is the place to come to ring in the New Year!

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    The original central point in the city

    by Ruai Written Apr 1, 2007

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    Initially begun in 1030, while Dublin was still a Norse city, albeit under Irish control, Christchurch has been extensively rebuilt over the centuries, most recently in the late 19th century. It stands in the oldest part of Dublin, near Dublin castle. It is mainly gothic in form, with some surviving Romanesque touches. There is a small fee to go in but its well worth it. There’s a good bit to see in the Cathedral, which has played a central part in the life of the city since its erection, serving as a repository for important records, having the main courts of the city in its grounds and being given a central role in the sealing of business deals in the middle ages (when parties would swear an oath at the tomb of Strongbow, leader of the Norman invaders of Ireland in the 12th century). Christchurch has an excellent boys choir, established in 1480 (wasn’t till 1995 a girls choir was established). One of the choir’s proudest moments was in 1742, when in company with the choir of St Patrick’s Cathedral it gave the first performance of Handel’s Messiah.

    In the 12th century, under Archbishop (and later patron Saint of the city) Lawrence O’Toole, the Augustinian order was established at Christchurch. In 1541, with the English reformation, the last Augustinian Prior and his Chapter neatly became the first Dean and Chapter of the reformed Church (the ruins of the Augustinian chapter house can be seen in the grounds). Since then, Christchurch has been a church of the Anglican communion (the Anglican Church of Ireland was the state church in Ireland until its disestablishment in 1871: unlike in England, it never gained the adherence of more than a small proportion of the general Irish population). As the main church of the Ascendancy during the centuries of English rule, Christchurch has a large number of monuments and inscriptions on the walls and in the crypt.

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