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What’s important?

Standing on high ground in the oldest part of the City, Christ Church Cathedral is one of the most significant ecclesiastical buildings in Dublin. Occupying the historic centre of the Viking and early Norman City it bridges the divide between the commercial core of the City to the east and the Liberties to the west. Its original setting has been gradually and systematically shattered to make way for wider roads and new buildings, the most recent of these being the Civic Offices at Wood Quay.

‘Medieval Dublin – that part of the City contained within the City Walls – is home to many major ecclesiastical sites – Christ Church Cathedral, St. Audoen’s Church (CoI), St. Werburgh’s Church, St. Nicholas Within (remains), the tower of St. Michael’s (Synod Hall) and the graveyard of Saint John’s, north of Christ Church, St Audoen’s (RC), the Church of the Immaculate Conception (Franciscan Friary, and commonly known as Adam and Eve’s), and the former SS Michael and John. Just beyond the walls on Francis Street, stands St. Nicholas of Myra.’I

‘The first Christianized Danish king, Sitric (Sigtryggr Silkbeard), built a wooden church at this site in 1038. On the brow of a hill inside the City Walls, it was the most commanding position in Dublin. The present stone cathedral was begun in 1172 after the conquest of Dublin by Strongbow, – Richard de Clare, a Norman baron. Construction continued well into the 13th century. The cathedral’s vault collapsed in 1562, bringing down the south side of the nave with it… Funded by the distiller Henry Roe, the cathedral was heavily restored by architect G. E. Street in 1871-78. As with many Victorian renovations, the work was important for preserving the ancient building but also robbed the cathedral of much of its medieval character. The exterior was entirely refaced and the interior was fully renovated in a Victorian Neo-Gothic style. Street also rebuilt the tower and added external buttresses.’II

  1. Clarke, H., Duggan C. and Donohoe, S. East West Cultural Alignment Dublin City Council Dublinia
  2. Brian Lalor, Blue Guide Ireland, 9th ed. (London: A&C Black, 2004), 141-43.

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