It’s impossible to visit Downpatrick in Northern Ireland without a visit to the Saint Patrick Centre, a museum entirely dedicated to the Patron Saint of the Irish and its historical impact on the country! The museum traces the life of the saint through his myths and legends, as well as proven historical facts. You will discover his powerful deeds, his myths and mysteries, as well as the heritage that still remains today… A nice museum, modern and interactive, essential to better understand Ireland’s relationship to religion!
St. Patrick, for those who do not yet know him, is the person who contributed to Ireland’s conversion to Christianity during the 5th century . A real tour de force when you think about it, Ireland being at the time predominantly pagan, and a follower of Druidism. Since then things have changed and the country has become predominantly Catholic… all thanks to Saint Patrick!
That’s why the Emerald Isle likes to celebrate the event every March 17th on the occasion of the Irish National Day!
And what could be more normal than to have a museum in Downtpatrick, the place where the man was buried, to give a better account of his work?
The Saint Patrick Centre boasts the only permanent exhibition in the world dedicated to Ireland’s patron saint. On the programme is an interactive exhibition, with videos, life-size reconstructions and voice-overs to count the life of Saint Patrick.
And the information is more than interesting! The museum combines ancient writings and scientific facts in order to give a close-up view of the life of the saint.
You will learn that he was born in Scotland before he was captured by Irish pirates and enslaved on Slemish Mountain in Ireland. Saint Patrick managed to escape in 409, after God asked him in one of his dreams to go ashore and board a ship…
The young man then decided to become a priest and dedicate his life to theology. The Pope will ask him to return to Ireland a few years later, to convert Ireland to Christianity! A mission that he carried out brilliantly, going to meet the Irish lords and the people, and explaining to them the concept of the Holy Trinity with the help of a clover!
The museum is fantastic, well done and the exhibition ultra interesting. Everything is done to have a good time: IMAX cinema sequences, sculptures, interactive panels and warm voiceover in dolby surround, where Saint Patrick seems to tell you directly about his life, his trials and his feelings.
The icing on the cake: the museum brilliantly balances the myth and history of Saint Patrick. You will have the opportunity to listen to the testimonies of Historians and academics who have dedicated themselves to the question of Saint Patrick and the historical facts that have been recorded.
The museum does not proselytize, but has a rather measured approach, where it distinguishes between the written word and scientific facts. A nice way to discover a piece of Irish History, and its cultural and societal impact up to the present day.
The museum also has a souvenir shop where you can buy books on the saint, Irish clothing, and other such souvenirs. At the end of your visit, feel free to complete your experience by passing through Down Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Tomb.
Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm – Last admission at 4:00 pm
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