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Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin: A History
Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland.
(January 2001)

Christ Church Cathedral is one of Dublin's oldest and most magnificent features. The site dates from around 1030 AD, and has seen a long succession of enhancements which reflect the history of Dublin itself.

The church's history begins when the first bishop of Dublin, Dúnán, was appointed by its founder: Sitric Silkenbeard, the Hiberno-Norse King of Dublin between 989 and 1036.

Dublin was captured by Norman's in 1172 and soon afterwards, at the instigation of Norman knight Richard 'Strongbow' de Clare, the cathedral was re-built to resemble its present form. The grand Romanesque building, including the vast crypt (the oldest remaining structure in Dublin), was completed in 1240. Strongbow's tomb is on display in the cathedral.

The last great renovation effort was between 1871 and 1878, when local distiller Henry Roe donated the vast sum of £230,000 pounds (around $30M US dollars in today's money) for the cathedral's restoration. Work was led by English architect George Edward Street. Amongst other bold renovations, Street cleared out the crypt (apparently chock-a-block with the debris of coffins and corpses) and removed the houses which had been built right up to the church walls.

Christ Church Cathedral remains in daily use today serving the Dublin and Glendalough dioceses of the Church of Ireland.
 
Click for larger image! Christ Church Cathedral - The south side shows off the Cathedral's stonework, much of it due to the Victorian restoration of G. E. Street. Keywords: christ,church,dublin,cathedral,christchurch,christ church cathedral,christ church,ireland,glendalough,church of ireland
(Click to view)
Click for larger image! Main Entrance - Upon entering the church the visitor is immediately struck by the huge interior (70m/192ft long) with high vaulted ceilings (25m/68ft tall) and beautiful stained glass windows lining the walls. Keywords: christ,church,dublin,cathedral,christchurch,christ church cathedral,christ church,ireland,glendalough,church of ireland
(Click to view)
Christ Church Cathedral

The south side shows off the Cathedral's stonework, much of it due to the Victorian restoration of G. E. Street.

Main Entrance

Upon entering the church the visitor is immediately struck by the huge interior (70m/192ft long) with high vaulted ceilings (25m/68ft tall) and beautiful stained glass windows lining the walls.

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Click for larger image! Choir Screen - The intricate screen was part of the 1871 restoration and divides the congregation from the choir. A copy of the cross of Cong sits above a lamb with a flag (symbolizing the resurrection). Keywords: christ,church,dublin,cathedral,christchurch,christ church cathedral,christ church,ireland,glendalough,church of ireland
(Click to view)
Click for larger image! Cathedral Choir - The whole church is filled with sweet harmonies as the choir practices. The world premiere of Handel's 'Messiah' was performed, in part, by the Cathedral choir in 1742. Keywords: christ,church,dublin,cathedral,christchurch,christ church cathedral,christ church,ireland,glendalough,church of ireland
(Click to view)
Choir Screen

The intricate screen was part of the 1871 restoration and divides the congregation from the choir. A copy of the cross of Cong sits above a lamb with a flag (symbolizing the resurrection).

Cathedral Choir

The whole church is filled with sweet harmonies as the choir practices. The world premiere of Handel's 'Messiah' was performed, in part, by the Cathedral choir in 1742.

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Click for larger image! The Lady Chapel - Weekday eucharists are held in the chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the far, east, end of the church. Medieval tiles (or replicas) cover the floor. Keywords: christ,church,dublin,cathedral,christchurch,christ church cathedral,christ church,ireland,glendalough,church of ireland
(Click to view)
Click for larger image! Stained Glass Detail - This window is just one example of the colored glasswork that greets you at almost every step. Keywords: christ,church,dublin,cathedral,christchurch,christ church cathedral,christ church,ireland,glendalough,church of ireland
(Click to view)
The Lady Chapel

Weekday eucharists are held in the chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the far, east, end of the church. Medieval tiles (or replicas) cover the floor.

Stained Glass Detail

This window is just one example of the colored glasswork that greets you at almost every step.

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Click for larger image! The Crypt - Below the main building lies the crypt which stretches almost the entire length of the upper structure. The vaulted arches provide the main support for the Cathedral and were built around 1172 AD. Keywords: christ,church,dublin,cathedral,christchurch,christ church cathedral,christ church,ireland,glendalough,church of ireland
(Click to view)
Click for larger image! Medieval Coffin - A number of artifacts were placed in the crypt, for preservation, during the 1870s restoration. Keywords: christ,church,dublin,cathedral,christchurch,christ church cathedral,christ church,ireland,glendalough,church of ireland
(Click to view)
The Crypt

Below the main building lies the crypt which stretches almost the entire length of the upper structure. The vaulted arches provide the main support for the Cathedral and were built around 1172 AD.

Medieval Coffin

A number of artifacts were placed in the crypt, for preservation, during the 1870s restoration.

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Click for larger image! Stocks - Christ Church Yard used these stocks from 1670 onwards to punish people convicted of misdemeanors. With wrists and/or ankles locked in the stocks, the offender was pelted with rotten foodstuffs by passers-by. Keywords: christ,church,dublin,cathedral,christchurch,christ church cathedral,christ church,ireland,glendalough,church of ireland
(Click to view)
Click for larger image! Family Monument - Monuments like these remember important people and families associated with the Cathedral over the centuries. Most originally resided in the upper church. Keywords: christ,church,dublin,cathedral,christchurch,christ church cathedral,christ church,ireland,glendalough,church of ireland
(Click to view)
Stocks

Christ Church Yard used these stocks from 1670 onwards to punish people convicted of misdemeanors. With wrists and/or ankles locked in the stocks, the offender was pelted with rotten foodstuffs by passers-by.

Family Monument

Monuments like these remember important people and families associated with the Cathedral over the centuries. Most originally resided in the upper church.

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Information

Location:
Christ Church Cathedral is on the corner of Winetavern Street and Christchurch Place, about 15 minutes walk from Trinity College or Dublin city center. A distinctive enclosed bridge crosses Winetavern Street to join Christ Church Cathedral to Synod Hall.

Getting there:
Dublin airport (DUB) has direct flights from most major US and European airports. A taxi (around $15) or airport bus provide transportation between the airport and city center.

Also of interest:
Dublin has a wealth of cultural attractions that could (and do) fill an entire book. Fortunately, most of Dublin's attractions are within walking distance of each other. Alternatively, there are several 'hop-on, hop-off' all day bus tours to choose from.

Links:
Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin : A History - Dr Kenneth Milne.
Published in June 2000, this book presents a complete history of Christ Church Cathedral.

http://www.cccdub.ie/
Official web site of Christ Church Cathedral Dublin.

Discover all that Ireland has to offer with a family Ireland tour! Play a round of Ireland golf or visit all the historic monuments with an Ireland tour Make your next vacation unforgettable!

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Cuba - Rotorua, New Zealand - Christ Church, Dublin - Monument Valley, Arizona - Monte Albán, Oaxaca, Mexico - Staffa, Scotland - Huamantla, Tlaxcala, Mexico - Costa Rica - Tule Tree, Oaxaca, Mexico - Fiesta, Mexico City - Making Lacquer, Olinalá, Mexico - Talavera Ceramics, Puebla, Mexico - Mata Ortiz Pottery, Mexico - Lebanon
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