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St Davids Cathedral, Wales

History

Blessed Sacrament windowThis Cathedral begun in 1181 is at least the fourth church to have been built on a site reputed to be that on which St. David himself founded a monastic settlement in the middle of the sixth century. The present building has been rebuilt and extended in the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth and sixteenth centuries with a small extension being added in 1993.

The cathedral has been an important place of pilgrimage for nearly fourteen centuries. in 1124 Pope Calixtus II declared that two pilgrimages to St David’s were equal to one to Rome and by the late middle ages it was believed that three were equal to one to Jerusalem itself.

 

Attractions

The outstanding features of the building are the varied architectural styles, the magnificent ceilings, oak in the Nave, painted in the Choir and Presbytery and stone vaulted in Holy Trinity and Lady Chapels. The floor of the Nave slopes a metre in its length whilst in the entire length of the cathedral the difference is four metres. Also of note are the leaning pillars in the Nave. The stalls of the Chapter of the cathedral contain many notable mediaeval misericords and the Chapter is unique in having the reigning Sovereign of the UK as a member.
The medieval Shrine of St David was restored and dedicated on 1 March 2012 and is a central focus for the many pilgrims who visit the cathedral each year.

Each year starting on the Saturday before Spring Bank holiday a week long Festival of Music is held in the cathedral and on Wednesday evenings in July, August and early September a series of Organ recitals.