Churches in Dublin - Did you Know?
Dublin is, as you know a very, very historical city. If the old Dublin walls could tell stories and whisper secrets, they'd probably be the most colourful stories and outrageous secrets on earth, but alas they can't talk so we make do with archaeological finds, history books, tour guide wisdom and legend to bring this history alive.
Part of the history that keeps Dublin alive for me are places that have probably witnessed the most secrets around...
'Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.' – James Joyce, Ulysses
... And indeed these places are stony. They are the Churches and Cathedrals of Dublin City. They've witnessed history unfolding and listened to the secrets and prayers of many a man, woman and child.
However there is more to their elegant stature, stained glass windows, heavy heaving doors and somewhat peaceful reclusiveness. There is more than what meets the eye...
Did You Know?
The Church With the Crypt...
St. Michan's Church, Church Road, Dublin 7 has a crypt below the church where you can visit and you don't have to have the 'sixth sense', to see and maybe even touch dead people!
In the crypt are the mummified remains of some of the most influential families of the 17th, 18th and 19th century. However the most impressive history lesson is that the Shears Brothers, legends of Society of United Irishmen are buried there. If visiting you''ll be introduced to the 'Crusader' who's legs you'll notice are at a strange angle. If you are lucky you'll get the opportunity to touch a mummy and legend has that if you do visit you'll be following in the footsteps of Bram Stoker, who apparently loved the place. I wonder why.
The Church with St Valentine's Remains...
Whitefriar Street Church, Aungier Street, Dublin 2 has a shine also known as a reliquary that contains the remains of St. Valentines!
That's right, all those pretty loved up cards with loved up words in them, whether printed or written wasn't the complete invention of Hallmark or Tatty Teddy or whoever. This tradition of Valentine's Cards actually comes from St. Valentine himself, or so we are told. For more of the history on St. Valentines and February 14th, you can visit the Carmelites website here, it's an interesting read. In the meantime if you'd like to get a glimpse of some of St. Valentines, you will have to make do with the shrine in the church. Be expected to meet many couples praying at the shrine to watch over their relationship and on Valentines Day it is moved to the main alter.
The Church that Doubles as a Concert Venue...
Dublin Unitarian Church, 112 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2 does live gigs, and I'm not talking about a church service or mass!
Yes, not only can one get married here, have their child baptised or welcomed here, hold their funeral here and attend Sunday service one can also witness live music and again not so much the holy kind. I'm talking about acoustic rock, indie and folk music mainly, nothing too loud or too sinful. The lighting and acoustics are brilliant and gigs there are, I would consider quite special and ones you will remember. The lack of a bar helps with this. For more information on up and coming gigs, follow this link here.
The Church That's Now a Restaurant...
The Church, Mary Street, Dublin 1, not a place to say your prayers but a place to wine and dine, had to be included in this listing for it's many 'did you knows?'
Yes The Church on Mary Street was once an actual a church (it only closed it's holy doors in the 80's), aptly named St. Mary's Church and by the sounds of it was a go to place for the A-Listers of yesteryear. Wolf Tone and Sean O'Casey were baptised there, Jonathon Swift attended services there, Arthur McGuiness got married there and the magnificent Renatus Harris built organ that is still found in all its glory there, was practiced on my non other than George Frederic Handel, with the top tune at the time being the Messiah!
Those were just a handful of my favourite facts about Dublin Churches. What are your favourite facts and do you have any fables to share about Dublin Cathedrals and Churches?
Browse our deals for things to do in Dublin.