Dublin Made Easy: Christ Church Cathedral

by Gazette Reporter

Christ Church Cathedral (founded c. 1028) is one of Dublin’s oldest buildings and one of the top visitor attractions in the city. The architecture and beautiful floor tiles are home to the famous 12th Century crypt – one of the oldest and largest in Ireland and Britain.

Over the years, Christ Church has hosted many significant events, including the crowning of Lambert Simnel as Edward VI in 1487.

Today, it houses the important Treasures of Christ Church which features manuscripts and ancient artefacts.

The cathedral has been used as a setting for many documentaries and films. The television series The Tudors was filmed here over a number of years, using the cathedral, the crypt and the chapter house.

The cathedral has excellent acoustics and provides a superb setting for many musical events each year.

Dublinia

BEST FEATURE: View over the city

As one of Dublin’s most popular attractions, Dublinia’s life-size displays are a great way to bring to life how society and culture has changed in Ireland’s capital over time.

Highlights include three exhibitions – Viking Dublin, Medieval Dublin and History Hunters.
At Dublinia, you can get to see the tomb of Strongbow, which dates back to the Middle Ages, and is said to contain the heart of the Patron Saint of Dublin.

With everything from the city’s Viking past to the Black Death’s impact, there’s tons of rich history here to dig into.

The Crypt

BEST FEATURE: ‘The cat and the rat’

The medieval crypt is believed to be the largest crypt in Ireland, measuring more than 63m in length, and built in the 1170s – the oldest structure still in use in Dublin today.

The crypt houses fascinating memorials, The Treasury, an audio-visual presentation and the cathedral shop.

The famous mummified ‘cat and the rat’ are the most unusual inhabitants of the crypt, but also the most popular. Mentioned by James Joyce in Finnegan’s wake, they are known locally as ‘Tom & Jerry’ – just two of the many figures resting in repose here.

The Choir

BEST FEATURE: Christmas concerts

The choir of Christ Church Cathedral enjoys an enviable reputation as one of Ireland’s finest choirs.

Tracing its origins to 1493 with the founding of the choir school, the cathedral choir has always been internationally regarded and sang in the world premiere of Handel’s Messiah in Dublin in 1742.

With the largest repertoire of any cathedral choir in the country, covering more than five centuries and including many works commissioned especially for it, the choir are often in demand for television and radio broadcasts in both the UK and Ireland.

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