Visitors to St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin can now get a high-tech insight into the 800-year-old building thanks to modern interactive technology.
Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe opened a ‘Discovery Space’ in the south transept of the church yesterday, which includes a large touchscreen table.
It features interactive content on the building’s history, brass rubbings, a large jigsaw of one of the windows of the Cathedral, a small reference library, an audio-visual unit and a number of iPad computers featuring the Cathedral’s very own app.
Some of the audio visual unit was constructed from recycled 19th century carved oak pews from the building.
Visitors will be treated to short video snippets showing the cathedral’s history.
Minister Donohoe said the cathedral was one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, with almost half-a-million visitors last year.
“The development of this new Discovery Space Interpretative Centre is exceptional,” he said.
Canon Horace McKinley from St Patrick’s Cathedral said he hoped the new technology would “make the cathedral even more accessible to those interested in our rich cultural heritage, encouraging them to stay longer and allowing them to learn in a more modern and more interesting way. “Ultimately, we hope that the Discovery Space will enhance visitors’ experience and enjoyment of their surroundings,” he said.
Canon Horace McKinley from St.Patrick's Cathedral, Failte Ireland's Director of Strategic Development Orla Carroll , Minister for transport, tourism and sport Paschal Donohoe TD and Andrew Smith, Education Officer, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral pictured at the launch of Saint Patrick's Cathedral's new discovery space, an interactive interpretive centre in the south transept
Failte Ireland’s Director of Strategic Development, Orla Carroll, said almost three-quarters of overseas visitors stay in Dublin at some point on their trip to Ireland, and tourism was worth over €1bn to the local economy in Dublin.
“Increasingly, a successful tourism destination needs to be able to tell its story well and provide opportunities for visitors to engage with that narrative,” she said.
“This new development will do just that and contribute to our overall ambition of marketing Dublin as a ‘must-see’, ‘must-do’ and ‘must go’ destination.”