- Type: Castles, Palaces & Historic Buildings
NileGuide Expert Says:
The tour guides here are usually excellent, revelling in their unique circumstances!
NileGuide Expert tip:
Kids of a certain age will love this spooky place
- Although the crypt of St Michan's is renowned for its "mummies", in fact these are not mummified remains at all, simply corpses which have refused to decompose, remarkably preserved by the very dry air, constant temperature and methane gas beneath the church. The most recent body dates from the mid 19C and the oldest is thought to be a Crusader knight, some 700 years old. Most of the coffins too are in a well preserved state, with original velvet and brass studs quite apparent.
Above ground the church itself has a story or two to tell, most famous for its 16th-century organ on which Handel played the Messiah in 1742. In front of the organ gallery don't miss the unknown apprentice's masterpiece carving of 17 instruments, crafted from a single block of wood.
The church and vaults are open for tours on Saturdays, and seasonally on some weekdays.
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