Along one of Dublin’s busiest roadways stands the largest and one of the oldest churches in Ireland – St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The story of the cathedral begins centuries ago, when St. Patrick is said to have come to these holy grounds to practice Christianity.
Andrew Smith, Head of Education at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, says the name and location of the cathedral are based on this story.
He tells, “there is a popular legend that St. Patrick himself visited this spot about 1,500 years ago, and he used a well to baptize converts into Christianity.”
Construction on the cathedral began in the 12th century, ad St. Patrick’s became the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland more recently in 1922.
Smith said that since the Republic of Ireland gained Independence, “this cathedral represents the entire island of Ireland, North and South, so technically two different countries.”
The building is open to the public daily for tours and worship, and hundreds of people visit each week.
“The Cathedral is an active place of worship, so that means that we have services actually twice a day. Outside of those services times we open our doors to visitors, and we are very, very lucky because last year we had 535,000 visitors to the cathedral,” says Smith.
And St. Patrick’s Park provides a community space for families and tourists to enjoy beautiful views of the cathedral.
From the architecture to the statues within, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the most historically significant buildings to Irish Christianity.