Christ Church Cathedral, founded in c.1028 is one of the finest historical buildings in Ireland. Sitric Silkbeard, (the first Christian Danish king) built a wooden church here in c.1028 as this location was the most commanding position in Dublin. The present stone building’s construction began in 1172 after the conquest of Dublin by Strongbow and continued well into the 13th century, so a transition from Norman to Early English Gothic styles can be seen in the architecture. This was one of the major pilgrimage sites in the medieval period and contained an important collection of relics ranging from a miraculous speaking cross to a piece from the crib of Jesus. Today, it is still possible to see one of these relics, the heart of Laurence O’Toole, patron saint of Dublin. The Cathedral was heavily restored in the 1870’s by the distiller Henry Roe but some of it’s original Norman and Early English Gothic structures can still be seen. A mummified cat & rat are the most unusual inhabitants of the crypt, but also the most popular. Mentioned by James Joyce in Finnegan’s wake, they are known locally as ‘Tom & Jerry.’

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