The largest—and most famous—church in Ireland, St. Patrick’s is one of the most beloved places of worship in the world. The original church was built between 1220 and 1260 in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, on a site where Patrick was said to have baptized converts; most of what you see now dates from the 14th century, along with some 19th-century renovations. The building is mainly Early English in style, with a square medieval tower that houses the largest ringing peal bells in Ireland; its spire, nearly 150 feet tall, soars above the city’s low skyline. This is the national cathedral for the whole of Ireland, and it feels like the church of the nation, with its grand nave, glorious high ceiling, and historic displays. Tucked away at the back of the cavernous nave is a moving collection of war memorials, including a very low-key tribute to the Irish dead of World War II. (Ireland was neutral in that war, but still around 300,000 men volunteered to fight with the Allies.) You can also see the tomb of the satirical 18th-century writer Jonathan Swift (see below), once a dean at this cathedral. Admission includes an irregular program of lunchtime classical-music recitals—call or check the website for details.
St. Patrick's Cathedral
St. Patrick's Close, Dublin 8
Our Rating Hours Mar–Oct Mon–Fri 9:30am–5pm; Sat 9am–6pm; Sun 9–10:30am, 12:30–2:30pm, 4:30–6pm. Nov–Feb Mon–Fri 9:30am–5pm; Sat 9am–5pm; Sun 9am–10:30am, 12:30–2:30pm. Guided tours Mon–Sat 10:30am and 2:30pm. Last admission 30 min. before closing. Transportation Bus: 49, 54a, 56a, 77a, 151 Phone 01/453-9472 Prices Admission €6.50 adults; €5.50 seniors and students; €3.50 children; €16 families Web site St. Patrick's Cathedral