Admire the dramatic neo-Gothic façade, listen to the chimes of a huge carillon and spot a series of intricate carvings at this 19th-century hillside cathedral.
St. Colman’s Cathedral is an architectural masterpiece and important religious landmark that rises above the streets of Cobh. This impressive monument dates back to 1868 and took about 47 years to complete. Visit St. Colman’s Cathedral today to appreciate its exquisite architecture, hear its 49-bell carillon and enjoy views over Cork Harbour.
Stand at the entrance to the cathedral and gaze in awe at the façade’s neo-Gothic designs. Look up at the soaring spires and spot gruesome-looking gargoyles. Note the sculptures of saints crowning the doorways and the elaborately decorated windows. The cathedral’s grandeur is the work of the famed church architects Edward Welby Pugin and George Ashlin.
Time your visit to arrive on the hour and listen as the chimes of the cathedral’s bells ring out across the city. The group of 49 bells makes up the largest carillon in both Ireland and Great Britain. Free carillon recitals take place on Sundays from May to September.
Step inside to discover rows of elegant arches spilling down to the main altar. Retrace Ireland’s ecclesiastical history via the detailed carvings. They depict everything from the era of St. Patrick to present-day religion.
Back outside, see wonderful views of Cork Harbour from the cathedral’s grounds. Cobh was the departure point for many Irish residents who emigrated to Australia and the United States in the 1800s. Consequently, the cathedral would have been one of the emigrants’ last sightings of their homeland before embarking on a new life.
The cathedral is open daily and has free admission. It’s an active place of worship so dress modestly and respect those worshipping.
Located in the heart of Cobh, St. Colman’s Cathedral is just a short walk from other major city attractions. Use the free parking available at the rear of the building. Learn about the city’s maritime history at the nearby Cobh Heritage Centre, Cobh Museum and Titanic Experience Cobh.