Dublin’s fair city is the capital of Ireland and also the largest city. Sitting on the river Liffey, Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath in Irish) is also called Dubh Linn, meaning Black Pool. It’s home the houses of Parliament, Dáil Éireann – Houses of the Oireachtas, the meeting places of the Government of Ireland and also the Four courts, with Ireland’s Supreme Court and High Court based here. With the only Luas system in Ireland (light tram) it’s easy to find your way around the busy city.
Kilmainham Gaol (Jail) was first built in 1796 and is one of the largest unoccupied jails in Europe. Public hangings used to take place in front of the prison but there were very few hangings from the 1820’s onward. However, many of the leaders of the 1916 Easter rising were executed in Kilmainham Gaol. Seen at the time as a place of suffering and oppression it’s no surprise that the jail was shut down as a functioning prison by the Irish Free State in 1924. The restoration of Kilmainhan Gaol was completed in 1971 and opened to the public.
St Patrick’s Cathedral founded in 1191, is the largest church in Ireland and named after St Patrick, who baptised Christians nearby over 1500 years ago. It’s the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland and major refurbishment took place in 1870’s as it was feared the building was nearly collapsing.
A popular tourist attraction Trinity College is recognised for its academic excellence world-wide, founded in 1592 it is Ireland’s most prestigious universities. Up to the 20th Century men were the only scholars allowed entry to Trinity College, this changed in 1904 when women were admitted to the college as full members for the first time.
The Long Room Library in Trinity College house 4.25 million books and as a legal deposit library it’s entitled to hold every publication of every book in Britain and Ireland. This impressive and lavish library must be a treat for all the scholars and academics who are fortunate enough to study there. The library is also home to the infamous Book of Kells.
Containing the Four gospel of the New Testament written in latin, is the Book of Kells. This ancient book is from the 9th Century and was found in the Abbey of Kells, Co. Meath. The stylistic detail and Celtic art throughout the book is breathtaking. A digital version of the book was created by Trinity College and means the reader can have the experience of going through the book page by page.
It’s all in the name! The Guinness Storehouse, the home of Guinness, the beverage the Irish are known for. In 1759 Arthur Guinness famously signed the 9,000 year lease for the storehouse. On the tour you get to learn the history of Guinness and how to pour the perfect pint, there’s definitely a skill to pouring a guinness!
For over 800 years Dublin Castle has stood in the heart of Dublin and was originally built on a Viking site. It was used as a military fortress. The inauguration of the very first president of Ireland took place here and so did every one that followed. It is now used a lot also for State receptions and can be closed at short notice for Government business. Very little of the original medieval building remains above ground as most was destroyed in a fire in 1673. However, the regal theme has remained consistent throughout and is a magnificent building to visit.
There are 3 branches of the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin and the branch as seen in the photograph above is the Museum of Archaeology. It contains so famous examples of celtic pieces so as the Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch and the Derrynaflan hoard. There are also further back in time prehistoric pieces from the Iron Age. It’s fascinating how such a small Island such as Ireland can have so much history and physical artefacts to prove how ancient Ireland is.
As a very busy city Dublin is renowned for its’ shopping experience, with popular streets like Grafton Street, Henry Street and William Street (and so many more), there are shops galore in the heart of Dublin City! With Market stalls on many of the older streets it gives a feel of traditional Dublin and the market stall workers can be heard throughout the streets, shouting about their best bargains. There are also within the city several shopping centres, plenty of opportunity to treat yourself or buy gifts for loved ones!
St Stephen’s Green is a city centre park in Dublin, like a micro Central Park! Designed by William Sheppard the park was officially opened to the public in 1880. During the 1916 Easter Rising, St Stephen’s Green also had its’ part to play, 200 Irish Citizen Army volunteers occupied the park. Trenches were dug and barricades erected in the park, bullet holes can still be seen in the arch over the main entrance of the park.
This was just a few of the many interesting places to see in Dublin, the Fair City, there are so much to do in this electric city and that’s only a taste of what Ireland has to offer. I hope you enjoyed reading about the spectacular places!
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