A refurbishment of The Saint Patrick Centre in County Down, Northern Ireland, is set to be complete just in time for the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations March 17th.
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The work includes an enhancement to the world’s only permanent exhibition dedicated to Ireland’s patron saint.
Work has been ongoing over the last year to redesign the content of the center, which is located in the medieval town of Downpatrick in County Down and a popular attraction for international visitors.
Entirely new exhibition panels, more interactive high-tech audio-visual presentations, new story boards, new lighting and a new children’s section are being prepared for visitors.
In addition, there will be a giant immersive projection table in the shape of Ireland and new high-definition video content with overhead projections, bringing the exhibition to life and showing the importance of Downpatrick in the development of Christianity on the island of Ireland.
Another highlight of the exhibition will be a new IMAX presentation, shot simultaneously on five cameras. The exhibition will also contain costumes and uniforms from various global St Patrick’s Day parades, including a unique Maori Irish dancing costume from the Auckland Parade in New Zealand.
The Importance of Downpatrick to Patrick’s Story
There is nowhere better than Downpatrick to trace the tale of St Patrick and his journey from slave to saint.
The town and surrounding countryside are rich with connections, landmarks and legends associated with Ireland’s apostle.
From the grave of St Patrick, the beautiful Down Cathedral, holy wells and bathhouses, to Saul Church, Patrick’s first church in Ireland, and the tallest statue of St Patrick in the world atop Slieve Patrick, there is a huge St Patrick legacy to explore.
Following a visit to the new exhibition, visitors will want to try out some of the excellent Saint Patrick’s Centre experiences that take in these sites and more.
A range of coach trips, walking tours, canoe jaunts and even a stay in an Irish monastic foundation to learn about meditation, journaling and Celtic spirituality are available from the centre.
One of the most popular experiences is the St Patrick’s Pilgrim Walk, a ‘Camino’ style 27-kilometer (16 miles) journey through stunning countryside and important sites in Patrick’s story.
Starting from The Saint Patrick Centre, it is steeped in spirituality, history and beauty.
The paths have been scouted and are guided by Martina Purdy, a former BBC political correspondent, and former barrister Elaine Kelly, who were both members of the Order of the Adoration Sisters.