Tuesday, 19 January 2010

THE MUMMIES OF ST MICHAN`S CHURCH, DUBLIN

Recently I visited in company with fellow team member Sean Dalton a most unusual and historic church in Dublin, Eire.
St Michan`s Church and crypt was first built in 1095 AD by early Danish settlers.
The church was totally rebuilt (using the old foundations) in 1685, and was later renovated in 1825.
The church has many famous associations, and not least that George Handel the famous composer first performed his iconic work, the Messiah by playing it on the church`s organ in 1724.
But the real interest is the original Danish catacombs below which contain a number of mummified bodies of which four are currently on public display. These bodies are naturally preserved by the dry magnesium enriched limestone that forms the bedrock of this structure.
Two famous Irish Protestant revolutionaries the Sheares brothers are entombed here after being executed in 1798 by the British, with the death mask of another, Theobald Wolfe Tone who was executed the same year placed on display.
Another famous connection is that the author Bram Stoker drew inspiration by visiting the catacombs for his novel, `Dracula`.
The main reason for our visit was the catacombs, and here is my report.

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