Saint Patrick’s Cathedral History & Tour! Dublin, Ireland

Have you ever felt that you were on Holy ground or without a doubt were in the presence of God Almighty? There are few places on earth that will make you feel more like that than Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, in Dublin, Ireland. They say that this is the very spot where around the year 450 AD, over 1,500 years ago, Saint Patrick himself baptized Irish converts. This 800-year-old cathedral had been declared the National Cathedral of Ireland.

In this video we will tell you the story of this important ancient holy place and give you a tour, both inside in out. The beauty that you will see here is almost indescribable making one of Ireland’s most visited places. The story here begins with Saint Patrick himself, the beloved Patron Saint of Ireland. Tradition has always stated that at a spring just outside the modern cathedral was where Patrick held his many baptisms. The first time a church was mentioned on the site was in the year 1178 and at that time it was on a spot of land surrounded by the River Poddle. Soon the Anglo-Normans arrived and with them there were many advancements. On Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1191, the Archbishop of Dublin, John Comyn raised the status of St. Patrick’s from a parish church to a collegiate church. Between 1212 and 1223 the church was raised to the status of a cathedral. Then the current building that we see today was built between the years 1220 and 1260. The cathedral has been added to, remodeled and changed several times in its 800-year history.

The sacred site was saved by a generous benefactor, Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, the heir of the Guinness beer brewing empire. The church is currently is part of The Church of Ireland, which is Anglican and protestant. The first university in Ireland was founded here in the year 1311, and Ireland’s first school was founded here in 1432, for the education of the choirboys. Ireland’s oldest secondary school was founded in 1547, as the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral Grammar School. Also, in 1701, the first public library was founded by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh and is called, Marsh’s Library. Over the centuries, one of the challenges of St. Patrick’s Cathedral was its close proximity to Christ Church Cathedral which is only about one-third of a mile away.

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral has been declared the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland, Christ Church Cathedral had been declared the Diocesan Cathedral for Dublin and Glendalough. The largest monument in the cathedral is the Boyle Monument which was built in 1632, by the first Earl of Cork Richard Boyle, in honor of his wife Katherine. The small child is said to be Richard and Katherine’s son Robert, who developed the scientific breakthrough called “Boyle’s Law” and is often referred to as the father of modern chemistry. “The Door of Reconciliation” and has an exciting story. In 1492, the Butlers of Ormonde and the Fitzgerald’s of Kildare were in a fierce feud which turned into a battle. The leader of the Fitzgerald’s, Gerald Fitzgerald wanted to prove that it wasn’t a trick and cut a hole in the door. He then stuck his arm in the hole and gave the Butler’s two options, they could cut off his arm, or shake his hand in peace. The Butler’s shook his hand and the conflict was ended. This story is where the Irish phrase “to chance your arm”, comes from, which simply means, to take a chance or a risk.

Above the choir stalls are the flags of The Knights of Saint Patrick and the helmets and swords worn during ceremonies. The Knights of Saint Patrick are an honorary British chivalry organization that was founded in 1783, by King George III. To put that date into perspective, this is the same year that the Revolutionary War ended in the United States. One of the largest ceremonies in the Cathedral happen in 1869, when Edward, the Prince of Wales was inducted into the order.

Next up is the east transept, or the very front of the cathedral. Here we have “The Lady Chapel” which was the first addition to the cathedral in 1270. At that time, it was called the “French Chapel” because it was used by French Huguenot refugees. The cathedral has several tombs of archbishops, including the most famous, Jonathan Swift, who penned many works, such as the classic book, “Gulliver’s Travels”.

On the north side of the cathedral is Saint Patrick’s Park where the stone was found near the entrance during the construction of the park. One section in the front is dedicated to the lost lives of children in the 1916 Easter Rising event. The inscription is in Irish and translates to, “A Play Garden in Memory of the Children Lost in 1916”. In the rear of the park, is the Literary Parade that was built in 1988, the 1,000th anniversary of the City of Dublin.
Credit to : Family Tree Nuts, History & Genealogy Service

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