Christ Church Cathedral. Church in Dublin, Ireland

Christ Church Cathedral

Church in Dublin, Ireland

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Christ Church Cathedral

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The altar at Christ Church Cathedral
	- Christ Church Cathedral
The altar at Christ Church Cathedral - Christ Church Cathedral. Photo by Jim Nix
Christ Church Cathedral, located in the oldest part of Dublin, is one of the city's finest historic buildings. It is one of two Protestant cathedrals in Dublin; the other being St. Patrick's Cathedral, which is within sight of Christ Church.

Christ Church Cathedral, also known as the “Cathedral of the Holy Trinity”, was founded in 1030 by King Sitriuc Silkbeard, and Dunan, the first Bishop of Dublin, and is dedicated to the Holy Trinity.

Raised on the remains of an earlier Viking church, it was to be the symbol of the re-emerging Irish rule. Continuously steeped in history, Henry VIII himself appointed Robert Castle the first Dean in 1541.

Christ Church Cathedral was a major pilgrimage site in the medieval period, with an important collection of relics ranging from a miraculous speaking cross to a piece from the crib of Jesus.

Christ Church
	Cathedral - Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral - Christ Church Cathedral. Photo by Wojtek Gurak
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the cathedral was used as a market, meeting place, and even a pub.

Through the years, the cathedral has undergone restorations in 1358, 1562, 1829, and 1871. The present structure of the cathedral dates mainly from the 1870s, when a major restoration took place, making the cathedral look more Victorian than Anglo-Norman.

The cathedral is officially claimed as the seat of both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin, however in practice, it has been the cathedral of only the Church of Ireland since the Reformation.

Christ Church Cathedral is still in everyday-use as a place of worship.

Inside the Cathedral

Explore the Crypt

Follow the steps that bring you beneath the cathedral and explore the medieval crypt. The cathedral crypt, constructed in 1172, is the largest crypt of its type in all of Great Britain and Ireland. Over 60 meters long, the crypt contains the oldest known secular carvings in Ireland, a tabernacle, and set of candlesticks used when the cathedral last operated under Roman Rite, the stocks made in 1670 were used to punish offenders before the Court of the Dean's Liberty, historic books, and altar goods. The crypt also houses the Cat and the Rat, The Treasury, an audio visual presentation, which will give you a short overview of the history of Christ Church, the cathedral shop café serving tea, coffee, cakes, and lunches.

Visit Strongbow's Tomb

The south aisle of the nave contains the tomb of Diarmait Mac Murchada (Wikipedia Article) or ‘Strongbow’, the Norman leader who captured Dublin in 1170 and was buried here six years later, with an impressive effigy of an armored knight. However, this is not the actual tomb of Strongbow but an effigy, though he is buried somewhere within the church walls. Myth lovers whisper that this smaller tomb is the tomb of Strongbow's son, sliced in half by his father when Strongbow suspected that his son lacked in bravery.

The Cat and
	the Rat - Christ Church Cathedral
The Cat and the Rat - Christ Church Cathedral. Photo by LenDog64

Visit the ‘Cat & the Rat’

One of the cathedral's more intriguing inhabitants is the mummified remains of a cat and a rat. According to church lore, the cat had chased the rat in to a pipe of an organ and both became stuck. A cat and a rat were discovered in the 1850s, and their mummified bodies are now on display. Eternally trapped in chase, the duo is affectionately named “Tom and Jerry” and even got a mention in James Joyce (Wikipedia Article)’s novel, Finnegan’s Wake, where someone is described as being “As stuck as that cat to that mouse in that tube of that Christchurch organ...”.


Christ Church Cathedral is open from Monday - Saturday from 9.00 AM, closing times are 18:00 PM in the spring and autumn, 19:00 PM in the summer, and 17:00 PM in the winter. On Sunday, opening times are 12.30 PM – 14.30 PM and 16.30 PM – 18.00 PM, or 19.00 PM in the summer. Admission to the cathedral includes entry to the crypt and the ‘Treasures of Christ Church’ exhibition where many Cathedral artifacts and manuscripts are on display. Visitors can take photographs for personal use, with the exception of the treasury. Photography is not permitted during services.

The cathedral is linked by a stone bridge to the former Synod House which now houses the Dublinia & The Viking World museum. Discounted tickets are available if you visit both the museum and the cathedral.

 - Christ
	Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral. Photo by unknown

Getting There

Christ Church Cathedral is on many bus routes, including the 123, 13, 27, 40, 49, 77a, and 77x. For further information, see The cathedral is also served by the Luas Red Line. Get off at the Four Courts stop and cross the river on to Winetavern Street. Note that there is no parking available in the cathedral grounds. The nearest car park is Q-Park Christ Church. The car park is accessed from Werburgh Street, just across from the cathedral.

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Author: Ayda. Last updated: Dec 22, 2014

Pictures of Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral. Photo by Zruda

Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral. Photo by unknown


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