Paid a visit to the crypt at St Michan's church last week. The vaults of St. Michan's uniquely contain many mummified remains. The walls in the vaults contain limestone, which has kept the air dry, creating ideal conditions for preservation. Among the preserved remains, is a 800-year-old, 6ft 5"Crusader, with his feet and right hand severed to fit in the coffin, the death mask of United Irishmen leader Wolfe Tone and the remains of the Sheare brothers, who were drawn and quartered for the Rising of 1798.
St. Michan's has an interesting history. The foundation of the church was built in 1095 to serve the ostracised Vikings, who were still in Ireland after the rest had been killed or kicked out by Wolf the Quarrelsome and other Irish forces in 1014. The church was rebuilt in 1686, and while the exterior of the church may be unimpressive, the interior boasts some fine woodwork, and an organ (dated 1724) on which Handel is said to have composed his Messiah. Since Victorian times visitors have descended the vault steps to see the mummies. Bram Stoker’s childhood visits are said to have inspired 'Dracula'. You can visit the Crypt on a 20 minute tour for €7.