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Awash in splendid Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles, the imposing Christ Church Cathedral underlines both, magnificence and might. The church is one of Dublin's two Anglican cathedrals and has stood on this site since the 6th Century. The present building was founded in 1172 by Strongbow, the Anglo-Norman conqueror of Dublin. In the hundreds of years since, the building has weathered many changes of design, and periods of steady deterioration. Since 1870 however, the Cathedral has been gradually and sensitively restored. The cathedral houses some of the remains of Strongbow, a pair of monumental, carved statues, aged books, altar artifacts, a casket containing the heart of St Laurence (the patron saint of Dublin), a tabernacle and candlesticks used by James II in 1689 when the Latin Mass was briefly celebrated. Furthermore, the cathedral is complete with a string of archways, a smattering of stained glass windows, and one of Ireland's largest crypts. The cathedral choir is one of the finest in Ireland.
Welcome to the oldest building in Dublin. Its history states that it was built to reconcile the Celtic and Anglo-Norman traditions. This cathedral houses one of the best choirs in Dublin. Learn about its history...it's fascinating. Find out everything from the Vikings to the gold given by William of Orange after the Battle of the Boyne. It's not just a history lesson, but also a place to atone your sins.
On this site stand two churches dedicated to St. Audoen. One, a Protestant place of worship, is now a national monument and the earliest medieval church still standing in Dublin. Admire the 12th-century tower - the oldest in Ireland - and imagine the bells tolling to remind parishioners to pray for those at sea. In the grounds surrounding the church you'll find the only gateway left of the old city and restored parts of the old city walls. The adjacent Roman Catholic church was built in 1847. Note the two clam shells from the South Pacific which flank the entrance and which are now used as holy water vessels. A short film on Ireland before the Vikings can be watched in the basement. Mass is held here at 11am on Sundays.
The original church on this site was raised by the Normans in 1178 and named after the King of Mercia's daughter, the Abbess Werburgh. Re-designed by Thomas Burgh in 1715, and then again following a fire in 1754, the church's Georgian interior is as interesting as it is attractive. The Guinness family are commemorated inside and Lord Edward Fitzgerald, of the 1798 rebellion, lies in a tomb beneath the church. Other items of interest include the Gothic pulpit, created by Richard Stewart, and the organ case which dates back to 1767.
Once upon a time in ancient Dublin, a great stone wall surrounded the city. The wall was huge and formidable and entry into the city was granted through the handful of arched gates. This wall and gates were built by the Norman settlers in the 13th century to defend the city from invading clans and foreign people. The gateways also served as tollbooths. As centuries passed the wall around the historic city began to crumble and was lost with time. Only one of the city’s historic gates exists to this day that is located behind a side of a church and is called the Saint Audoen’s Gate or Arch that leads to a narrow alleyway. The gateway was restored in 1976 and is still used by the locals to reach the High Street and Cornmarket.
Temple Bar is often used to symbolize the extraordinary changes which Dublin has undergone in recent years. In the 1980s, this district of the city was earmarked as the site for a vast bus station. Galleries and small shops colonized the cheap properties, however, the bus-depot plans were abandoned, and the area now boasts of a warren of bustling shops, cafes, galleries and restaurants. Some of the country's best cultural institutions have found a home in Temple Bar, including the Irish Film Centre and the Gallery of Photography. Two new civic spaces, Temple Bar Square and the striking Meeting House Square have been created and utilized by artist and traders. In short, this district is one of the city's most colorful and vibrant; make a point of seeing it for yourself.
These law courts are a mere stroll over Richmond bridge from the Temple Bar area of the city. A huge copper-covered dome, 64 feet in diameter, towers into the sky above a beautiful Corinthian portico, while inside, the King's Bench, Exchequer, Chancery and Common Pleas can all be viewed. The structure that stands today has a history that is far from trouble-free. Designed by James Gandon, Four Courts remained intact for 120 years after its completion in 1802. The Irish Civil War saw its bombardment and the destruction of the Public Records Office. Unfortunately, the latter contained records dating from the 12th century, all of which are now lost forever. Luckily for us however, the law courts themselves have been restored to their former glory. Admission is free but only possible when court is in session, so it's a good idea to phone in advance.