Heritage Hot Spots: Christ Church
What is it?
Christ Church is the oldest cathedral in Dublin. It was built from 1169 on the site of a wooden church by Richard de Clare, earl of Pembroke – known as Strongbow – for St Laurence O’Toole, archbishop of Dublin. Formally known as Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, it is the seat of the Church of Ireland dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough.
Its prominent site high above the River Liffey in the heart of medieval Dublin makes it one of the city’s best-known landmarks and most-visited churches. Its striking Gothic naves sit on top of a 12th-century crypt – reputedly the largest in Ireland or Britain. Open to visitors, it houses the Treasures of Christ Church exhibition. Visitors can tour the belfry, with its 19 bells, which are rung in sequence. And campanology enthusiasts can join in the bell ringing, under expert supervision, at certain times. Visitors can also hear the acclaimed cathedral choristers at sung services on Sundays, at 11am and 3.30pm, and on Thursdays, at 6pm.
Christchurch Place, outside the cathedral, is one of Dubliners’ favourite places to celebrate the start of the year. At 9pm on Monday, Christ Church will host a New Year’s Eve concert with Dublin Gospel Choir. It will be followed by a champagne reception in the crypt and a countdown to the ringing of the bells at midnight in the cathedral grounds. Tickets cost €45 at iti.ms/Tr9vEXor 01-6778099.
How do I get there?
The cathedral is at the top of Dame Street in the heart of old Dublin, about 10 minutes’ walk from the front gate of Trinity College. It’s open from Mondays to Saturdays between 9.30am and 5pm (November to March), 6pm (April, May, September and October) or 7pm (June to August). It’s open on Sundays from 12.30pm to 2.30pm year round plus from 4.30pm to 6pm from June to August.
Admission costs €6 for adults, €2 for children, €4 for seniors and €3 for students. Call 01-6778099 or see christchurchdublin.ie.