Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin City

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin City

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At the heart of the city of Dublin for almost a thousand years, Christ Church cathedral has a rich cultural history which can be traced from the Vikings and the Anglo-Normans to the present. Its diverse architectural and sculptural heritage remains a source of fascination to visitors and pilgrims alike who enter this hallowed space.

Christ Church Cathedral is the Church of Ireland Cathedral for the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough. Its origins date to about 1038 when the Viking settlers constructed a cathedral on this site. The present building dates to 1172 when Archbishop O’Toole and the Norman knight Richard de Clare known as Strongbow initiated the building work. Through the years the cathedral has undergone restorations in 1358, 1562, 1829 and 1871. The Cathedral as it exists today is mainly Victorian due to the extensive restorations and renovations carried out by the English architect George Edmund Street in the 1870s.

Externally the most interesting feature is the fine Romanesque doorway on the gable of the southern transept. This original doorway dating from the 12th Century is one of the few external features which wasn’t restored or replaced.

The crypt of Christ Church is the oldest surviving part of the cathedral dating from 1188 and is one of the largest medieval crypts in Britain and Ireland. The Treasures of Christ Church Exhibition housed in the crypt displays stunning examples of cathedral and parish silver and treasures, including the magnificent gilt plate donated by William III in 1697 to celebrate his victory at the Battle of the Boyne. An audio visual presentation illustrates the story of Christ Church Cathedral through the centuries.

The cathedral is open for visitors every day. There is an entry charge. You can attend a guided tour of the cathedral on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays. Audio Guides are available in the cathedral from €3 during the summer months.

These give a detailed tour of the cathedral including excerpts of the cathedral choir singing. Please ask at the welcome desk for more information.

The cathedral is wheelchair accessible, although the chapels at the rear of the cathedral may present some difficulties for those with limited mobility. As there are stairs to the crypt from the cathedral, there is an alternative wheelchair entrance to the crypt from St. John's Lane. Please inform staff on the desk if you would like this entrance opened.

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