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St. Michan's Church, Dublin

Photo © Courtney Ferguson. View all images in our St. Michan's Church Photo Gallery.
Photo © Courtney Ferguson.
Photo © secret.kiwi.
Photo © secret.kiwi.

St. Michan's Church in Dublin is best known for its ancient Viking origins, 18th-century organ, and well-preserved corpses on display in the crypt.

History

Built on the site of a Danish chapel founded in 1095, St. Michan's Church was for centuries the only parish church on this side of the River Liffey. It was built to serve the Viking population expelled from within the city walls. Rebuilt in 1685 and restored in 1998, St. Michan's now belongs to the Protestant Church of Ireland.

What to See

The interior of St. Michan's is notable for its fine woodwork, a large organ from 1724 on which Handel is said to have played his Messiah (it is one of the oldest still in use in Ireland), a Penitent's Stool, and a chalice dating from 1516. The pulpit and font date from the 18th century.

But the main highlight for most visitors is the burial vault underneath the church. Because of the dry atmosphere created by its limestone walls, centuries-old bodies interred here remain remarkably intact.

Guided tours lead visitors into a stone tunnel lined with burial chambers, where some of the dusty corpses can be admired in their open coffins. Among these are a nun, a man missing a hand and both feet, and a Crusader who had to be sawn in half to fit into the coffin. Legend has it that Bram Stoker's Dracula was inspired in part by the author's childhood visits to this macabre vault.

Quick Facts on St. Michan's Church

Site Information
Names:St. Michan's Church; St. Michan's Church, Dublin
City:Dublin
Country:Ireland
Categories:Churches
Faiths:Christianity; Danish; Church of Ireland
Feat:Dead on Display; Crypt
Dates:1095; rebuilt 17th C
Status:active
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Dublin, Ireland
Coordinates:53.347458° N, 6.275414° W  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of St. Michan's Church

Below is a location map and aerial view of St. Michan's Church. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. St Michan's Church - Frommer's Ireland
  2. The Mummies of St. Michan's - Suzanne Barrett, Ireland for Visitors
  3. St Michan's Church of Ireland - Archiseek

More Information

Article Info

Title:St. Michan's Church, Dublin
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:04/28/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/dublin-st-michan-church
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/dublin-st-michan-church">St. Michan's Church, Dublin</a>