Saint Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral is a modest, Gothic style building, with a low, fortified-looking tower, that lies near the centre of the Armagh city.
In 445, St. Patrick reportedly erected the original building that occupied the site of the present Cathedral. The present church dates to the early 19th century, although some of the statues hark back to pre-Christian times and reflect the beliefs and customs of that era.
The church has been destroyed and rebuilt 17 times.
Saint Patrick's and Brian Boru
The church contains many relics and sites of historical importance, including the burial place of Brian Boru. A huge figure in early Irish history, Brian Boru was born in 940, in the province of Munster. He witnessed Viking killings of many members of his tribe, including his mother.
From a young age he was committed to driving the Vikings from Ireland. He trained himself and his tribal army in the art of battle and began to drive his enemies back to their homeland. Brian became a powerful leader, and battled his way to the High Kingship of Ireland.
Brian Boru was the last of the High Kings to sit at the traditional throne at Tara. As High King, Brian Boru made valiant efforts to restore churches ruined by the invaders, and replace artifacts and manuscripts that were lost and destroyed during the pillaging. At the Battle of Clontarf, on Good Friday 1014, Brian Boru and his forces defeated the Vikings, crushing their military power in Ireland. As the Vikings were retreating, one of their leaders, named Bothair, murdered Brian Boru.
His tomb lies in St. Patrick's Cathedral, intricately carved by the sculptors Roubilliac and Rysbrack.
Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Image: Rickie22