Expand your knowledge of Ireland’s captivating religious history and visit some of the country’s most incredible works of architecture in Dublin. There is so much to see, we thought we would recommend our top picks to help you make the most of your visit…
St. Michan’s Church
Are you brave enough to shake hands with an 800 year old mummy? Visit St. Michan's Church and you will find out. Tiptoe down a set of stone steps into a dimly lit vault beneath the church and there are dozens of coffins with impressively preserved mummies who appear to be trying to escape. Learn how this unique experience is only possible due to a loop hole in Church rules, how the bodies were mummified in the basement and how they have incredibly broken free of their coffins. Also discover the intriguing history of the Church itself, how it was built by Vikings in 1095 and then rebuilt in 1686 with the addition of a grand pipe organ on which Handel played the Messiah.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Built in 1191 St Patrick's Cathedral is the largest in Ireland and is located next to St Patrick's Park which is a lovely spot to sit and have a picnic after you have explored this magnificent building. The Cathedral has quite the dramatic past for you to uncover. It has been the victim of fire several times and therefore parts have been rebuilt and altered quite significantly from their original state. See the flying buttresses added in 1864 during the country’s neo-Gothic trend. On the ground level in the very centre, you will find the delightful figure of the distinguished scientist Robert Boyle as a child and further back the spot where St Patrick himself baptised the local Celtic chieftains.
Dublin’s famous castle stands looming over the ridge of the River Liffey at the heart of this historic city. Once a Gaelic Ring Fort and later a Viking Fortress you can still see some remains of the original 13th century castle. Just south of the castle you can also explore a collection of magnificent state houses, which are the venue for state functions, presidential inaugurations and the presidencies of the European Union.
Aras an Uachtarain - The Irish White House
The Aras an Uachtarain, also known as the Irish White House is the official residence of the President of Ireland and the headquarters of the Garda Mounted Unit. Designed by Nathaniel Clemente in the 18th century and located in the north of Dublin, beside the grand Phoenix Monument at the centre of Phoenix Park, it is a beautiful place to walk around and admission is free. Tread in the footsteps of famous guests such as Queen Victoria, John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. And discover the building’s intriguing history, including the story behind the murders of Undersecretary Thomas Henry Burke and Lord Frederick Cavendish, Chief Secretary for Ireland.