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St Patrick’s Cathedral

St Patrick’s Cathedral also formally known as Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Patrick was built to honour Saint Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint.

It is the larger of the City's two cathedrals. The Church has designated it as The National Cathedral of Ireland, the other Cathedral, Christ Church, is the diocesan cathedral of the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough.

 The Cathedral was founded in 1911 though little now remains of the original church beyond the Baptistery. By the early 17th century, the Lady Chapel was said to have been in ruins and in 1660, repairs to the building were begun. The roof in 1668 was in danger of collapsing and was taken down, a new roof being completed by 1671 and the west window was replaced with a perpendicular window. The cathedral spire was added in 1769 and remains one of Dublin's most well-known landmarks.

 The Guinness family helped to restore the cathedral between 1860 and 1900. Benjamin Guinness’s son Arthur Guinness donated a stain glass window known as ‘Rebecca at the well’ for which he received gentle criticism, for its motto read: 'I was thirsty and ye gave me drink'. In 1901 his son Edward designed the St Patrick’s Park and also donating a set of the bells to the cathedral

One of Cathedrals most well-known features, The Door Of Reconciliation can still be seen today. Legend has it that in 1492 two Irish families, the Butlers of Ormonde and the FitzGeralds of Kildare, were involved in a bitter feud. Eventually tension broke into outright warfare and a small skirmish occurred between the two families just outside the city walls. The Butlers, realising that the fighting was getting out of control, took refuge in Saint Patrick's Cathedral. The FitzGeralds followed them and Gerald FitzGerald, ordered that a hole be cut in the door. He then thrust his arm through the door and offered his hand in peace to those on the other side.  Upon seeing this, FitzGerald was willing to risk his arm by putting it through the door and they shook hands. The Butlers then emerged from the Chapter House and the two families made peace. This story also lives on in a famous expression in Ireland "To chance your arm".

 Adjacent to the Cathedral stands a famous well where it was believed Saint Patrick baptised converts on his visits to Dublin.

 The author of Gulliver’s Travel, Jonathan Swift was a Dean of the cathedral from 1713 to 1745. Many of his famous sermons and "Irish tracts" (such as the Drapier's Letters) were given during his stay as Dean.

 

The cathedral is open daily 9am until 5pm where you can see the magnificent architecture and historical sites. Services are still being held at the cathedral