As part of OpenHouse Limerick 2018, St Mary’s Cathedral opened its doors to the public on Saturday, October 20.
The Dean of the Cathedral, Reverend Niall Sloane led visitors on a tour deep into the cathedral, which was founded 850 years ago.
As one of Limerick’s top attractions, it has brought about 30,000 tourists a year – many of whom come from abroad, according to Revd Sloane.
Speaking about OpenHouse, Revd Sloane said: “The advantage of the OpenHouse for people is actually to get a chance to see the rooms and places that normally aren’t open to the public, like the blue room, or the chapter room here.”
“It’s important for people to have the perception that it’s not just a church -it’s a cathedral. It actually talks about the whole history of Limerick through invasions, sieges, battles, wars, famines and times of peace and reflects all of Limerick’s life,” he said.
Walking up through narrow stairs, visitors climbed 69-metre Baroque bell tower and admired a breathtaking view of the city.
Visitors marvelled at the interior wonders of the Cathedral’s six chapels, the original altar, the leper’s squint, the 15th century Mercy seats and the exquisite stained-glass windows.
Barb Misiuda, a volunteer of the cathedral, who is originally from Canada and has spent 16 years in China, said that people could truly understand what Limerick life used to be like just by looking at the cathedral.
“To come to a place like Ireland, it doesn’t matter if you don’t read the literature. You can get the feeling and the atmosphere,” she said.
OpenHouse Limerick 2018 kicked off on Friday October 19, with the theme of ‘Architecture is Community’.
Over the weekend October 19 – 21, a programme of free events is encouraging the public to explore and learn about the historical background of some of Limerick’s finest buildings through architect-guided and self-guided tours, walks, talks and exhibitions.