Results 1-8of 8 Reviews
June 16, 2013
From journal Dublin Outings
October 28, 2008
From journal Dubious Dublin
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
June 9, 2008
From journal Some Don't-miss Dublin Attractions
March 18, 2007
St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, originally known as "The National Cathedral and Collegiate Church of Saint Patrick, Dublin and in Irish as Árd Eaglais Naomh Pádraig" is a must see site in Dublin. It is a stop on every bus tour route and well worth the negligible 5 euros entry fee.
In 1191, under the leadership of John Comyn, the first archbishop of Dublin, Saint Patrick's given the status of a cathedral. Erected between 1200 and 1270. Over time the cathedral deteriorated, despite many attempts to restore it. After the Reformation in England, St Patrick's became a Protestant Cathedral, although most of the population remained Roman Catholic.
From 1783 until 1871 the cathedral served as the Chapel of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick, members were known as the Knights of St. Patrick. The heraldic banners and helmets of the knights still hang over the choir stalls.
Between 1860 and 1900 restoration based on the original design, was carried out funded by the Guinness family. They received some criticism by donating a stained glass window of Rebecca at the Well reading "Iwas thirsty and ye gave me drink". One of the Guinness family's statue is outside the south door.The entrance is fairly nondescript compared to Christ's Church, but don't let that fool you. Inside is a whole world of incredible work in wood, stone, tile, and stained glass. Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, was Dean of St. Patrick's from 1713-1745 and he is buried just inside the entrance to the right. This is a functioning church, so be quiet and respectful. They allow photographs and tripods (this is rare), but don't use your flash. The tripod is very helpful as the interior is quite dark and lit mostly by the impressive stained glass windows.
Of special interest are the wood carvings in the back of the cathedral. They are painted and very detailed. To the front and left is a very interesting spiral staircase of stone with delicate pillars. You can't climb it, but you can get right up to it to examine the workmanship. The pulpit is also very nicely carved and worth closer examination. The stained glass throughout is very well done and reflects a variety of styles.
The tile floor is very well done with a variety of patterns. Try and get a picture with the light from a stained glass window striking it. The backside of the exterior is much more impressive than the front and backs onto a large greenspace. This is an excellent area to admire the cathedral and do some people-watching. If it is lunchtime there will be quite a crowd. Grab a sandwich and a mineral and join them. There is a small cafeteria in the cathedral that has sandwiches and snacks and the all important restroom.
From journal Co. Dublin
December 1, 2005
From journal A few days in Dublin
June 21, 2004
Lore has it that St. Patrick passed through Dublin on his journeys, and at a well close to where the cathedral now stands, baptized pagans into Christianity. (You can see a spot on the church grounds showing the approximate location of that well.) To commemorate his visit, at the time, a small wooden church was built on that site.
In 1191, this church was elevated to the status of cathedral, and the current cathedral building was built between 1200 and 1270. Age, religious reformation, and the elements took their toll on the building, and in the late 1800's, a full-scale restoration was carried out on the cathedral by the Guinness family. The cathedral was so lovingly restored that it is hard to believe it ever fell into disrepair.
St Patrick's is both an active church and a living museum to the history of Ireland. Many notable Irish historical figures are either buried here (ie, Jonathan Swift lies near the entrance) or commemorated here (such as Carolan, the last of the Irish bards). The choir, which was founded in 1432, had the first performance of Handel's Messiah in 1742. St. Patrick's was also the site of the first University in Ireland.
It is interesting to note that there are two cathedrals in Dublin, which is rather unusual – most cities only have one major cathedral. While exact records have been lost to time, it’s believed that when St. Patrick's was granted cathedral status, it was intended to replace nearby Christ Church Cathedral. That never quite worked out, both cathedrals remained active, and eventually St. Patrick's was named the nation's cathedral while Christ Church is the city’s cathedral.
St. Patrick's is open year-round to visitors (admission is under €5 for adults) except for certain holy days such as Christmas and Christmas Eve. Additionally, non-worship visitors are restricted from wandering the cathedral during certain services, so it is advisable to check their web site for current hours.
Although there are tours available, visitors are allowed to wander on their own through the building.
From journal Churches of Ireland
March 25, 2003
Hours of opening:
Saturday: 9:00-6:00 (March to October), 9:00-5:00 (November to February)
Sunday: 9:00-11:00; 12:45-3:00; 4:15-6:00 (March to October), 10:00-11:00; 12:45-3:00 (November to February)
Admission Charges for 2003: Adult ¢æ3.50; Unwaged (OAP, student, unemployed) ¢æ2.50; Family (two adults, two children) ¢æ8.00
St. Patrick's Cathedral isn't the biggest or the most spectacular cathedral I have ever been to, but it has a lot to offer. You can see Celtic carvings, learn about Ireland's patron saint, and see the spot where St. Patrick is said to have baptised locals in the 5th century AD. The park adjacent to the cathedral was full of fresh-smelling spring flowers at the time of our visit.
One thing that really bothered me about the cathedral was its very large gift shop which is directly at the back of the nave. Somehow, that didn't seem very in keeping with the religious aspect of the church. At least put it in an out-building!
Not a lot of people realize that this church is no longer a Catholic church (the religion usually associated with the Republic of Ireland). But you are able to read all about the life of the saint on displays throughout the church. We happened to come during the Choral Matins, which provided some beautiful music to our visit.
From journal St. Patty's Day in Ireland
Cary, North Carolina
October 27, 2002
There's a bit of emotion that poured over me as I stepped onto the grounds. The little hairs on the back of my neck stood on end.
St. Patrick's is open from 9-6 (at least when we were there. I'm told the hours change at different times of the year. And it's not open at certain times on Sundays unless you're worshipping.) I didn't mind the $3.50 euro charge for admission - I just hoped it went towards upkeep of the church, or towards helping the community or something. I also dropped some coins into the organ fund and lit two candles and prayed about some important things. Fear not, if you're not Catholic (I'm protestant), there are some pre-written prayers for you to recite.
They allow you to take as many pictures as you like, which was nice. However, because of the dark space, you better have a camera with some low-light settings. The stained glass windows were fabulous, and the detail work was astounding.
I had never heard of it, but there was a door of reconciliation on display. The story goes that two opposing factions were fighting, one ran into the cathedral. The other wanted them to come out, and a truce was suggested. The leader on the inside cut a hole in the wall and stuck out his hand as a show of good faith - kinda gutsy, because it could've been cut off! Door of Reconciliation
The only thing that bothered me a bit was the commercialization of the experience with a gift shop in the cathedral itself. I mean, is this there when people are worshipping on Sundays? Again, I hope the money goes to the church.
Overall a must see, and a grand experience.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
From journal Dublin, Ireland - Slainte!