Originally founded by Vikings in 1095, St. Michan’s Church is today both a Dublin tourist attraction and a place of worship for parishioners of the Church of Ireland. The main draw is the crypt in the church’s basement, where coffins hold exposed mummified remains. The conditions of the crypt have kept the mummies in a semipreserved state.
St. Michan’s Church is a relic of the Victorian period and still houses an original organ from the early 18th century. In addition to viewing the architecture of the church, people visit to descend into the crypts, where the coffins have disintegrated over the centuries, revealing the mummies within. Tours are available every day but Sunday, and times vary depending on the season; check the church’s website for tour times.
Things to Know Before You Go:
- St. Michan’s Church is a must-see for travelers interested in religious sites and history.
- The surface of the crypts beneath the church can be uneven in places; wear flat shoes and watch your step.
- The vaults are not wheelchair-accessible.
- No photography is permitted in the vaults.
- Visitors interested in all things ghosts and spirits may also want to look into tours of haunted Dublin.
How to Get There:
Located in the Dublin 7 area on the north side of the River Liffey, St. Michan’s Church is near two stops on the red line of the Luas tram: Four Courts and Smithfield. The neighborhood of Smithfield is home to other popular attractions including the Jameson Distillery. St. Michan’s Church is a 20-minute walk or a 10-minute taxi ride from Grafton Street.
When to Get There:
Tours of the church and crypt are available all year long; times for tours vary depending on the season. The summer is the most popular time of year to visit. If planning a trip during the summer months, go to the crypt on a weekday to avoid the crowds. Travelers interested in attending a church service can do so on Sundays.
Like many attractions in Dublin, St. Michan’s Church also has a literary connection. The Irish writer Bram Stoker, most famous for his 1897 novel Dracula, is said to have visited the vaults to see the mummies.