St Mary's Pro Cathedral was constructed in the early 1800s on a site which had previously been an ancient monastery.
At first glance, it does not look like a cathedral, certainly unlike the Gothic proportions of its neighbors, the Protestant Cathedral of St Patrick's or The Christ Church Cathedral.
You may be forgiven for thinking it is a museum, with its rows of pillars and the classical lines of its exterior, which were modeled on the Greek Temple of Theseus. Above these pillars are three prominent statues of St Mary, St Patrick and St Laurence O'Toole who was the second Archbishop of Dublin.
At the time of its consecration, the Christ Church Cathedral was Catholic but since then it has changed ownership and is now a Protestant Cathedral.
The Church is the main place of worship for Dublin City's Catholics and as such, it is a fully functioning church. Although visitors are welcome, they are asked to respect the building as a place of worship, therefore no photography, mobile telephones or loud noises are permitted. Visitors are welcome to join in the services, of which there are many.
The Church is famous for its Palestrina Choir, composed of men and boys. They are renowned internationally and you have the opportunity to hear them every Sunday at 11:00am when a Latin Mass is conducted. There is also a beautiful organ, the original of which was built over 100 years ago and has since undergone several updates and renovations, however some of the original pipe work has been retained.
The interior columns dominate the inside of the church and above the altar is a frieze of the Ascension. A stained glass window of Mary illuminates the back of the impressive Victorian altar.
St Mary's Pro Cathedral is located on a quiet corner, at the intersection of Marlborough and Cathedral Street, close to O'Connell Street.
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