Tourist Information Dublin

St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin

St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, ("Árd Eaglais Naomh Pádraig" in Irish), was founded in 1191, and is the larger of Dublin's two Church of Ireland cathedrals, and the largest church in Ireland.

Unusually it is not the seat of a bishop, as Dublin's Church of Ireland Archbishop has his seat in the nearby Christ Church Cathedral.

Saint Patrick is believed to have passed through Dublin on his travels around Ireland. He is said to have baptised converts from paganism to Christianity in a well close to where the cathedral now stands, so in memory of his visit a small wooden church was built on the site, one of the four Celtic parish churches in Dublin.

In 1191 John Comyn, the first Anglo-Norman archbishop of Dublin, raised this ancient church of Saint Patrick to the status of a cathedral. The present building, was erected in the 13th Century but little of this original building remains. From the very earliest years there were problems with seepage of water, with a number of floods, especially in the later years of the 18th century, caused by the surrounding branches of the River Poddle - even in the 20th century, it is reported that the water table was within 7.5 feet of the floor thus ensuring there would never be a crypt or basement area. Over the centuries as the elements, religious reformation, and persecution took their toll, the cathedral fell into disrepair, despite many attempts to restore it. Between 1860 and 1900 a full-scale restoration was carried out instigated by Benjamin Guinness in 1860-65, and inspired by the fear that the cathedral was in imminent danger of collapse.

There is almost no precedent for a two-cathedral city and this was the source of much tension over the years until this eventually settled, more-or-less, by the signing of a six-point agreement of 1300, Pacis Compositio which was in force until 1870.
Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels, was Dean of the cathedral from 1713 to 1745. Many of his famous sermons and "Irish tracts" (such as the Drapier's Letters) were given during his stay as Dean.

It is believed that Saint Patrick's was the origin of the expression "chancing your arm" (meaning to take a risk), when Gerald, Earl of Kildare cut a hole in a door there, still to be seen, and thrust his arm through it, in an effort to call a truce with another Earl, James of Ormond, in 1492.

Opening Times

The last admission is 30 minutes before closing.

March - October
Monday - Friday 09.00 - 17.30
Saturday - 09.00 - 18.30
Sunday - 09.00 - 11.00, 12.30 - 15.00, 16.30 - 18.30

November to February
Monday - Friday 09.00 - 17.30
Saturday - 09.00 - 17.30
Sunday - 09.00 - 11.00, 12.30 - 15.00

The Cathedral is closed to visitors on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Saint Stephen’s Day (26 December).

Please note that during service times visiting is restricted. The Cathedral is principally a place of worship and, from time to time, special services (e.g. funerals and weddings) will take place. During these times it may not be possible to visit the cathedral. Please check our events section for further information on service times and events. No photography is permitted whilst services are taking place.

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Ticket Prices

Adult €5.50
OAP/Student €4.50

Family (2 adults & 2 children under 16) €15.00

Group rates (minimum of 10 persons):
Adult €4.20
Student €3.70

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Disabled Facilities

Wheelchair access by arrangement

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More Information

Telephone: 00 353 (0) 1 453 9472

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Location Map

Find out how to get to St Patrick's Cathedral with directions and maps from Google.
21 Patrick's Close
Dublin 8,

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