As well as its religious and architectural interest, Saint Michan’s Church in Dublin is famous because of the strange phenomenon that fossilised the corpses buried in its crypts, which nowadays are open to the public. Situated to the north of the Liffey River, this church’s origin dates from the 11th century, though like all the chapels in the country it later underwent restorations which have given the building mixed architectural styles. The visit to the crypt includes a guided tour of the most well-known of these buried characters, such as the brothers Henry and John Seares, whose participation in the 1798 revolt cost them their lives. A copy of the execution order is displayed next to their tombs. You can also see the mummified remains of someone who might have been a thief, as his right forearm is missing, supposedly as punishment for stealing. Apparently, this natural embalming of all the dead in St Michan’s Church was made possible by a combination of methane gas and the limestone in the soil.
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