However macabre, St. Michan's main claim to fame is down in the vaults, where the totally dry atmosphere has preserved several corpses in a remarkable state of mummification. They lie in open caskets. Most of the resident deceased are thought to have been Dublin tradespeople (one was, they say, a religious crusader). Except for its 120-foot-high bell tower, this Anglican church is architecturally undistinguished. The church was built in 1685 on the site of an 11th-century
Danish church (Michan was a Danish saint). If preserved corpses are not enough of a draw, you can also find an 18th-century organ, which Handel supposedly played for the first performance of Messiah. Don't forget to check out the Stool of Repentance—the only one still in existence in the city. Parishioners judged to be "open and notoriously naughty livers" used it to do public penance.
Lower Church St., Dublin, Co. Dublin, Dublin 7, Ireland
Nov 11, 2008
The church is of some interest inside, contains an organ Handel supposedly played when his "Messiah" was first performed here. Most striking, and ghoulish, are the crypts with mummified corpses several hundred years old -- very creepy stuff. Worth a stop-in if this is your cup of tea.