St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Find out more about Dublin’s history as you visit the city’s largest religious site, St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, the cathedral’s next to the place where St. Patrick himself baptised converted Christians over 1,000 years ago.
After paying the small entrance fee, enter the cathedral and look to the right where you’ll see the grave of Jonathan Swift. The author of Gulliver’s Travels was also dean of the cathedral in the early 16th century, and his death began a decline in the cathedral until its restoration.
Also look out for the Boyle Monument, commissioned by the Earl of Cork in the 17th century, which is decorated with paintings of his family, including his young son who later became a prominent scientist and founder of ‘Boyle’s Law’.
As you walk through the church, you’ll find out about its turbulent history through fires, storm damage and even conversion to army horse stables by Oliver Cromwell. Remember to look up at the ornate stained glass windows to see the city’s history told in colourful glasswork.
If you’re lucky, your visit will coincide with a performance by the Cathedral Choir. With daily recitals during school time, their voices ring out beautifully through the cathedral as they sing traditional Roman Catholic hymns.
To find out more about the history of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, it’s worth taking a guided tour which take place at regular intervals through the day. If you prefer, download the free mobile app and go on a self-guided tour of this stunning building.