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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Dublin

Dublin (Baile Atha Cliath, "Town of the Hurdle Ford", or Dubhlinn, "Dark Pool") lies in the wide sweep of Dublin Bay, between the rocky promontory of Howth in the north and the headland of Dalkey to the south. The River Liffey, which flows into the harbor, divides the city into a northern and a southern half. A major part of the inner city lies on the right bank in the south, bordered by fine parklands, and another nucleus is situated on the north bank. Both are linked by several bridges, the most important of which is the O'Connell Bridge. Upstream the Father Matthew Bridge marks the position of the ancient ford over the Liffey.

O'Connell Bridge

O'Connell Street and the River Liffey in Dublin.
A good starting point for a sightseeing tour in Dublin is O'Connell Bridge, which spans the Liffey (here 45yd/42m wide) in the center of the city. Built in 1792-94, it was widened in 1880. The river, flanked by quays on both sides in its passage through the city, is crossed by a total of 10 road bridges.

Trinity College

Trinity College, established in 1591, has been attended by many of Ireland's most famous people over the years.

Bank of Ireland

Entrance to the majestic Bank of Ireland which housed the first Irish Parliament, Dublin.
Facing the main entrance to Trinity College is the large building now occupied by the Bank of Ireland, originally designed (by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce, 1729) to house the Irish Parliament but in 1802, after the Act of Union, sold to the Bank of Ireland. The curving facade with its different orders and sculpture groups - resulting from alterations carried out at different times - ranks as one of Dublin's finest. The noble banking hall, converted from the Old Commons' Chamber, can be seen during banking hours.
Address: 2 College Green, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

National Library

The National Library (1890), to the left of the entrance gateway to the Bank of Ireland, has collections of early printed books (notably 17th C. Irish literature), old maps and topographical works, and a newspaper archive.
Address: Kildare Street, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

National Musuem of Ireland

To the right of the Bank of Ireland gateway in Dublin is the National Museum, which has a rich collection of Irish antiquities from prehistoric times to the end of the medieval period.
At present, when new rooms are being opened and old ones renovated, exhibits are liable to be moved around and some rooms may be closed.
The entrance rotunda (used for special exhibitions) leads into the Great Hall. Among the most notable items to be seen here are gold jewellery, mainly of the Bronze Age; 11th and 12th C. crosiers; the Ardagh Chalice (early eighth century), silver with gilt ornament, enamel and glass decoration, gold filigree handles; among the processional crosses, the Cross of Cong (1123), of oak with silver and gilt-bronze animal ornament; among a number of shrines, the Shrine of St Patrick's Bell (12th C.), decorated with silver gilt, gold filigree and ornamental stones; and various reliquaries, including the Breac MaodhÓg Reliquary (11th century), with an exact depiction of the dress of the period.
In the gallery of the Great Hall are antiquities covering a period of more than 7,000 years (century 6000 B.C.-A.D. 1000).
Particular treasures to be seen here are the Tara Brooch (700-750), of gilded bronze inlaid with silver, copper and enamel, and the Moylough Belt Shrine (eighth century), a reliquary of silvered bronze with enamel ornament designed to be attached to a belt.
There are also a number of ogham stones. A collection of sheila-na-gigs (female figures in obscene postures) can be seen on application.
On the upper floor are metal objects, glass and porcelain, textiles and ceramics. Of particular interest are the cases displaying Irish silver.
Address: Kildare Street, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

Leinster House

The dome of Leinster House in Dublin.
To the rear of the National Library and Museum in Dublin, set back from the street, stands Leinster House, the Republic's Parliament, the seat of the Dáil Eireann (House of Representatives) and Seanad Eireann (Senate). This sober and dignified building (by Richard Cassels, 1745) was originally the town house of the Dukes of Leinster.
Address: Kildare Street, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

National Gallery

Behind Leinster House, to the left, is Dublin's National Gallery, with the entrance in Merrion Square, to the southeast. Originally opened in 1864, the gallery has since been extended, most recently in 1968.

The gallery has large numbers of portraits. The older portraits of prominent figures in Irish history, formerly hung in the front rooms, are now in Malahide Castle, 9mi/14km north of Dublin. The more recent ones, including portraits of Brendan Behan, Roger Casement, Eamon de Valera, James Joyce, Sean O'Casey, George Bernard Shaw, J. M. Synge, Oscar Wilde, Charles Stuart Parnell and W. B. Yeats, are in Room 14 (reached from Room 1A).

There are also a fine collection of miniatures (Room 29), a series of portrait miniatures on the upper ground floor and an important collection of water-colors, also on the upper ground floor (Room 32), which can be seen only by appointment.

Distributed throughout these rooms are sculptures from the 16th century to the present day, including works by Auguste Rodin and Aristide Maillol.

On the ground floor of the gallery are a book counter and a restaurant, and in the basement a library and lecture hall.

In addition to representative works by Irish painters the collection, displayed on the ground and upper floors, includes works by American, British, Dutch, Flemish, French, German, Italian and Spanish artists.

Address: Merrion Square West, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

Merrion Square

To the southwest of the National Gallery in Dublin lies Leinster Lawn, with a monument commemorating the founders of the Irish Free State (including Arthur Griffith, the first Prime Minister). This opens into elegant Merrion Square, which is surrounded on three sides by handsome Georgian houses. Among residents in the square have been Oscar Wilde's parents, Daniel O'Connell and W. B. Yeats. On the west side of the square is the Rutland Fountain (1791).

Number 29 Merrion Square

No. 29, one of Dublin's fine Georgian houses at the southeast corner of Merrion Square in Lower Fitzwilliam Street, has been made into a museum. The house is furnished exactly as it was at the end of the 18th C. when Olive Beatty, a widow, moved in with her three children.
Address: 29 Lower Fitzwilliam Street, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

Fitzwilliam Square

From the southeast corner of Merrion Square Fitzwilliam Street runs south to Fitzwilliam Square (c. 1825), Dublin's best preserved Georgian square. Fitzwilliam Street, also Georgian, is a good example of the style, with the additional attraction of a view of the Wicklow Mountains on the horizon to the southwest.
At 29 Fitzwilliam Street Lower is a house displaying the lifestyle of 1800 Georgian Dublin. It is furnished and decorated in the Georgian period. Guided tours only, includes audio-visual show.
Address: 29 Fitzwilliam Street Lower, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

Natural History Museum

On Dublin's Upper Merrion Street we come to the Natural History Museum, which has a large collection displaying the fauna of Ireland (including skeletons of prehistoric animals). It also contains the Blashka Collection (glass models of marine creatures). Opposite the museum, at No. 24, is the house in which the Duke of Wellington was born.
Address: Merrion Street, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

St Stephen's Green

Vine covered house on St Stephen's Green in Dublin.

Opposite Ely House in Dublin, Hume Street leads to the east side of St Stephen's Green, a 20ac/9ha park laid out in 1880 at Arthur Guiness's expense, with flower beds, ponds and a variety of monuments, including a fountain ("The Three Fates") by Joseph Wackerle, a gift from the German people in thanksgiving for Irish help in relieving distress after the World War II, and a memorial stone to W. B. Yeats by Henry Moore. The park is a popular resort of Dubliners, particularly during the midday break (deck chairs can be hired); there are lunchtime concerts of Irish music in July and August.

A highly ornate Victorian facade conceals the ultramodern St Stephen's Green Shopping Center. On the west side of the park can be seen the Royal College of Surgeons (1806) and on the south side of the square stands the Department of Foreign Affairs, formerly the residence of Lord Iveagh, which has a large garden, and the Neo-Byzantine University Church (1854).

Address: Clonmel Street, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

Newman House

The two buildings on the south side of St Stephen's Green (Nos. 85 and 86) are known as Newman House. They are owned by University College and have recently been thoroughly restored. These houses are especially renowned for their stucco work. No. 85 was built for Captain Hugh Montgomery and No. 86 was designed by Robert West. The buildings commemorate John Henry Newman, the first rector of the Catholic University, the precursor of University College.
Address: 85-86 St Stephen's Green, Ireland

University College

Immediately south of Newman House in St Stephen's Green stands University College. The Republic of Ireland has two universities, Trinity College and the National University of Ireland, to which University College in Dublin and colleges in Cork and Galway belong. Particular attention is given at this university to the Irish language. Following the considerable expansion of University College the original buildings in Earlsfort Terrace now house only the faculties of medicine and architecture; the rest of the university occupies a new site at Belfield, 3mi/5km southeast on the N11, on a spacious campus developed since the mid-1960s, with some interesting modern buildings.
Address: Belfield, IRL-4 Dublin, Ireland

Mansion House

In Dawson Street, to the north of St Stephen's Green, is the Mansion House (1705), seat of the Lord Mayor of Dublin since 1715, with the Round Room by John Semple.
The Round Room was the meeting place of the first Irish Parliament in 1919. There the Proclamation for the Irish Republic was ratified.

Royal Irish Academy

In Dawson Street, to the north of St Stephen's Green, is the Royal Irish Academy, with a library which contains a priceless collection of manuscripts of the sixth to the 17th C., including the "Cathach," a psalter possibly written by St Columba.
Address: 19 Dawson Street, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

Grafton Street

Neon signs on Grafton Street in Dublin.
Going west along Dublin's Anne Street which branches off Dawson Street, we reach Grafton Street, one of the principal shopping streets of the city (pedestrian precinct). Here visitors should not miss seeing the traditional and exclusive "Browne, Thomas and Co." department store. A respite from shopping can be found at Bewley's Cafe in Grafton Street, a favorite rendezvous for Dubliners.

Bewley's Cafe

A respite from shopping can be found at Bewley's Cafe in Grafton Street, a favorite rendezvous for Dubliners. With its dark wooden furniture, the marble tables and the impressive windows by the Irishman Harry Clarke, it exudes an impressive coffee house atmosphere. The ground floor is more peaceful and is called "Bewley's Museum."

Civic Museum

On South William Street, which can be reached by making a detour from the northwest corner of St Stephen's Green along South King Street, which runs west to South William Street, stands Dublin's Civic Museum, originally headquarters of the Society of Artists, and built in 1765-71. It has an exhibition of old plans, models, etc., of Dublin in the Octagonal Room.
Address: 58 South William Street, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

Powerscourt House

View of Sugarloaf Mountain from Powerscourt House in Dublin.
On South William Street stands Powerscourt House, an imposing mansion (1771-74) built by Robert Mack for Viscount Powerscourt, now converted to commercial purposes (Powerscourt Town House Center). The beautiful stucco work in the staircase hall, main hall and reception rooms can be seen on application.
The extension of South William Street leads back by way of College Green to Trinity College.
Address: 59 South William Street, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

National Concert Hall

The National Concert hall is a music venue that was designed in the classical style for the Great Exhibition of 1865. Presentations include visiting international artists and orchestras, as well as concerts of jazz, contemporary and traditional Irish music.
Address: Earlsfort Terrace, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

Dublin City Hall

Dublin's City Hall (by Thomas Cooley, 1769-79), an imposing domed building, was originally the Royal Exchange. In the entrance hall are statues of local notabilities. In the Muniment Room are the city archives, including royal charters, the earliest of which (1172) grants the territory of Dublin to the city of Bristol.
Address: Dame Street, Ireland

Dublin Castle

Statue of the Lady of Justic at the Dublin Castle.

Beyond Dublin's City Hall stands Dublin Castle, the main entrance of which is on Cork Hill. The hill now occupied by the Upper Yard was probably the site of a Celtic and later a Danish fort. In 1204 King John began the construction of a castle (completed 1226) of which little survives, and then much altered, in the present building. From the reign of Elizabeth I to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1921 the Castle was the seat of the Viceroy and the headquarters of British administration. The Castle is now used for important Presidential Inaugurations and State receptions.

To the right of the main entrance to Dublin Castle is the Genealogical Office, where people of Irish descent can seek to trace their ancestry. The State Apartments are shown to visitors in a conducted tour lasting about half an hour (entrance in Upper Yard, opposite the main entrance to the Castle). Notable features are the colorful Donegal and Killybegs carpets, the chandeliers of Waterford glass and the pavement of green Connemara marble in the entrance hall. The conducted tour takes in the following rooms; St Patrick's Hall, with a painted ceiling (1778) and the banners of the Knights of St Patrick; the blue Wedgwood Room, with paintings by Angelica Kauffmann (?) ; the Picture Gallery, with portraits of Viceroys; the Throne Room, richly decorated in gold (1740), with an 18th C. throne; the long State Drawing Room with its original furniture; and the Apollo Room or Music Room, with a ceiling of 1746.
At the east end of the Upper Yard a passage leads into the Lower Yard. On the right of this is the Record Tower, one of the four old corner towers, well preserved with its 16ft/5m thick walls, which gives some impression of what the medieval castle was like. The neo-Romanesque Chapel (1807-14) is notable for its unusual external decoration of over 100 limestone heads of famous Irishmen.
Address: Castle Street, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland
ENLARGE MAP PRINT MAP EMBED < > Dublin Castle - Floor plan map Dublin Castle Map

Christ Church Cathedral

Flowers in front of Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin.
Castle Street leads into Christchurch Place in which is one of Dublin's two principal churches, Christ Church Cathedral, the cathedral of the Anglican dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough. In its present form it is the result of a major reconstruction in 1871-78; of the original 13th C. church there remain the crypt, which extends under the whole length of the nave, a doorway in the south transept and perhaps parts of the transepts. Enough remains, however, including some sculpture, to give some impression of the magnificence of the old church. The crypt contains numerous architectural fragments of different periods and 17th C. statues of Charles II and James II. In the nave is a fine recumbent tomb effigy of a knight, identified as Strongbow, and beside this is a small half-length figure wrongly described as "Strongbow's Son."
Other monuments in the choir include the tomb of a 13th C. bishop.
Address: Christ Church Place, Ireland
PRINT MAP EMBED < > Christ Church Cathedral - Floor plan map Christ Church Cathedral Map

Dublinia (Dvblinia)

The former Synod Hall, linked to Christ Church Cathedral by a bridge, now houses the so-called "Dublinia." Here the history of Dublin is portrayed, from the coming of the Normans (1170) until the closing of the monasteries (1540). About an hour should be allowed to view the exhibition, which by means of a succession of scenes, an informative video show, a scale model of the city, tools and art work, illustrates this phase of the history of Dublin.
Address: St Michael's Hill, Christ Church, IRL-8 Dublin, Ireland

St Patrick's Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral continued to play a leading part through all the vicissitudes of Irish history over the centuries, although in the 13th C. another church, only 0.25mi/400m away to the south was raised to the status of cathedral and has retained that status, in spite of all subsequent changes, down to the present day. This is St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, the largest church in Ireland (305ft/93m long) which is an Anglican cathedral.

At the time of its foundation in the 11th C. the church stood on a marshy site outside the town walls. Like Christ Church Cathedral, it has suffered from over-restoration (1864-69). The massive tower at the northwest corner dates from the end of the 14th C., the steeple from 1739.

The church is entered from the south side. The high interior, in severe Early English style, is of impressive effect. It contains numerous monuments and tombs. At the second pier, to the right of the entrance, are the tombs of Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) and his "Stella" (Hester Johnson, 1681-1728). To the left of the nearby door is a bust of Swift, with an epitaph which he himself composed: "He lies where furious indignation can no longer rend his heart." Swift was Dean of St Patrick's for 35 years.

Address: St Patrick's Close, IRL-8 Dublin, Ireland
ENLARGE MAP PRINT MAP EMBED < > Dublin - St Patrick's Cathedral - Floor plan map Dublin - St Patrick's Cathedral Map

Marsh's Library

To the right of St Patrick's Cathedral a narrow street runs in a curve to Marsh's Library, Dublin's oldest public library, founded by Archbishop Marsh and built in 1701 by Sir William Robinson. The facades were renewed in 1863-69, but the attractive interior has been preserved practically unchanged, including the "cages" in which readers of rare books were obliged to work under the eye of the custodian.
Address: St Patrick's Close, IRL-8 Dublin, Ireland

St Audoen's Churches

Walking along Patrick Street and St Nicholas Street to Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral and turning left into High Street, we see on the right the two St Audoen's Churches. The Protestant one is a National Monument and is Dublin's only surviving medieval church. Of the original structure there remain the nave (13th C.), in which services are still held, the choir and south aisle (both roofless) and two chapels. In the porch are the Portlester Monument (1496) and a number of gravestones.
Address: Cornmarket, High Street, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

War Memorial Gardens

The gardens are a place of remembrance and architectural interest. The gardens were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and dedicated to the 49,400 Irish soldiers who died in 1914-1918 war. Their names are contained in the granite bookrooms in the garden.
Address: South Circular Road, Islandbridge, IRL-8 Dublin, Ireland

Dublin Custom House

Pillars on the Custom House in Dublin.
Going downstream from O'Connell Bridge on Eden Quay, we come, passing under the unsightly railroad bridge (1889), to the Custom House, a magnificent building designed by James Gandon (1743-1823), an English architect of Huguenot descent who was responsible for many buildings in Dublin. After the building had been completely burned out in 1921, during the Civil War, the exterior was restored on the basis of the original plans. The long facade with the Doric portico and the 125ft/38m high domed tower which surmounts it is best seen from the opposite side of the river. Most of the fine statues and sculpture are by the Dubliner Edward Smyth.
The north front, although less magnificent than the main facade, is also of notable quality.
Address: Custom House Quay, IRL-1 Dublin, Ireland

O'Connell Street

Daniel O'Connell Statue in O'Connell Street in Dublin.
Parallel to Marlborough Street is O'Connell Street, Dublin's main north-south artery. Originally a good residential street, it lost many of its fine old buildings during the fighting of 1916-22 and is now a shopping and commercial street, with cinemas and restaurants. Along the middle of the street are a series of statues of Irish patriots, including Daniel O'Connell and Charles Stewart Parnell, as well as the "Apostle of Temperance," Father Matthew. Quite recently a sculpture of the river goddess Anna Livia was set up near the main post office. Irish wits have called it "the floozie in the jacuzzi."

Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art

Great Denmark Street in Dublin leads via Gardiner's Row into Parnell Square North, on the right hand side of which is Charlemont House (1762), by the English architect Sir William Chambers, with a porch added in 1930. It is now occupied by the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, founded in 1908, with pictures by Pierre Bonnard, Camille Corot, Edgar Degas, Juan Gris, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir, William J. Leech and Jack B. Yeats. At the time of his death Hugh Lane had loaned the collection to the Tate Gallery in London, but in his will he left it to the City of Dublin. After a lengthy argument the collection was divided, the two halves rotating on a five-year period between Dublin and London.
Address: Charlemont House, Parnell Square North, IRL-1 Dublin, Ireland

Parnell Square

The Municipal Gallery of Modern Art overlooks Parnell Square, where there are three fine 18th C. buildings - the Gate Theater (founded in 1928 in part of the old Assembly Rooms), the Rotunda (now rebuilt as the Ambassador Cinema) and Richard Cassels's Rotunda Hospital. The main building, linked with the wings by colonnades, is topped by a domed tower. A beautiful staircase leads up to the Chapel, which has a fine stucco ceiling with numerous figures in strong relief.

Dublin Writers Museum

The Writers Museum in Dublin.
In 1991, the Dublin Writers' Museum was opened in two 18th C. houses. No. 18 honors the great Irish writers, including Swift, Wilde, Yeats and Joyce; the neighboring building serves as a meeting place for contemporary writers and for the exhibition and readings of their new works. The museum, which has a bookshop and a cafe, is open in summer.
Address: 18/19 Parnell Square North, Ireland

Garden of Remembrance

Reflective pool in Garden of Remembrance in Dublin.
In Parnell Square lies Dublin's Garden of Remembrance, laid out in 1966, with a sculpture by Oisín Kelly ("Lir's Children," 1970). The garden is dedicated to all who gave their lives for Ireland's freedom.
Address: Parnell Square East, IRL-1 Dublin, Ireland

National Wax Museum

Exterior of the National Wax Museum, Dublin.
Dublin's National Wax Museum features wax figures of Irish politicians (Charles Stewart Parnell, Douglas Hyde, Eamon de Valera), actors and writers (James Joyce), and prominent international personalities.
Address: 4 Foster Place, Temple Bar, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

King's Inns

Going south from the end of Granby Row down Upper Dorset Street (the main road north to Dublin airport, the N1) and Bolton Street, we come to Henrietta Street, a cul-de-sac on the right, at the far end of which, on a high base, are the King's Inns (designed by James Gandon in 1795; the two wings on the west front are later additions), the headquarters of the ruling body of the Irish legal profession, with a fine Dining Hall (sculpture by Edward Smyth) and a large library.
Address: Henrietta Street, IRL-1 Dublin, Ireland

St Mary's Church

Walking down Bolton Street and Capel Street, we reach Mary Street (on the left), in which is St Mary's Church (1702), Dublin's oldest unaltered Protestant church, with rich carving on the organ loft and galleries. The churchyard was presented to the city by the Church authorities in 1966 as a Wolfe Tone memorial garden. Nearby is Wolfe Tone Street, named after the leader of the United Irishmen.

Four Courts

River Liffey in Dublin.
Capel Street descends to the Liffey at Gratton Bridge. 0.25mi/400m upstream, on Inns Quay, is a masterpiece by James Gandon, the Four Courts, seat of the Irish High Court and Supreme Court. Built between 1786 and 1802, it incorporated plans by Thomas Cooley, who died before building began. After being badly damaged by gunfire during the Civil War in 1922 it was restored in 1931 with minor alterations. The 456ft/139m long river-front with its Corinthian portico is dominated by a great domed rotunda which is a prominent Dublin landmark. The central hall beneath the dome gave access to the four courts from which the building takes its name - the Exchequer, Common Pleas, King's Bench and Chancery Courts.
Address: Inns Quay, Ireland

Phoenix Park

An obelisk in Phoenix Park, Dublin.
From Dublin's Collins Barracks at Blackhall Place, Parkgate Street leads west to Phoenix Park. This large public park (767 ha/1,752 acres) owes its name, not to the phoenix on a column set up in 1747 by the Viceroy, Lord Chesterfield who established the park, but to the Irish name of a nearby spring, Fionn Uisg ("Clear Water").
The Ashtown Castle Visitor Centre is located in a tower house dating from the 17th C. Visitors can view a historical interpretation of the past from 3500 B.C. to the present.

Zoological Gardens

To the right of Dublin's Main Road, which runs in a straight line through Phoenix Park, are the People's Garden, the Zoological Gardens noted for its successful breeding of lions, a polo ground, the residence of the President of the Irish Republic and previously of the Viceroy (by Nathaniel Clements, 1751-54), and the Apostolic Nunciature. To the left of the road are the huge obelisk of the Wellington Monument (200ft/60m high, by Sir Robert Smirke, 1817), an eyecatching landmark for visitors coming from the city, followed by various sports grounds, the residence of the United States Ambassador and, at the far end, the Ordnance Survey Office. On the south side of the park is St Mary's Hospital, with a chapel designed by Cooley (1771).
Dublin Zoo is the third oldest public zoo in the world. It has 30 acres of colorful gardens and a variety of wild animals and tropical birds from around the world. Favorite features include the new Pet Care area and the train ride around the zoo.
Address: Phoenix Park, IRL-8 Dublin, Ireland

National Botanic Gardens

Northeast of the Glasnevin Cemetery, on Dublin's Phibsborough Road, bounded by the River Tolka, are the 50acre/20ha Botanic Gardens, with a fine wrought iron Palm House (by Richard Turner, 1842-50).
The gardens carry about 20,000 species and cultivars in plant collection.
Address: Botanic Avenue, Glasnevin, IRL-9 Dublin, Ireland

Fairview Park

Going east along Dublin streets beside the River Tolka, we come to Fairview Park, laid out on land reclaimed from the sea adjoining the harbor. North of this, past the junction of Griffith Avenue and Malahide Road, stands the Marino Manor (by William Chambers, 1765-71: National Monument), a country villa built for the first Earl of Charlemont, with eight sumptuously appointed rooms set round a handsome staircase. In the basement are extensive domestic offices, below a terrace flanked by four lions.

North Bull Island

From Fairview Park, Clontarf Road borders the north side of the bay in the direction of Howth. To the right can be seen the flat North Bull Island, with two golf courses (Royal Dublin and St Anne's).
This 300 ha island in Dublin Bay was formed after the construction of the Bull Wall in the 1820's.
Now a Nature Reserve and Bird Sanctuary of international importance with up to 25,000 wading birds using the area in Winter.

Howth, Ireland

Cliffs in Howth near Dublin.
Beyond Fairview Park on Clontarf Road is a rocky promontory of quartzite and schist, along the slopes of which extends the attractive residential town and holiday resort of Howth. The older part of the town is on the northeast side of the peninsula. Here there is a large fishing and boating harbor, from which a boat can be taken to Ireland's Eye.
Above Howth harbor are the ruins of St Mary's Church (14th-15th C.: National Monument), with two aisles of different length. In the south aisle can be seen the handsome tomb of the Lawrence family (c. 1740).
The highest point on the Howth peninsula (best reached from the Summit district at its east end) is Ben of Howth (568ft/173m), on which can be seen a burial mound; from the top there are panoramic views.

Howth Castle Rhododendron Gardens

West of St Mary's Church above Howth harbor is the fifth century Howth Castle, a battlemented stronghold of irregular plan, much restored. In the lovely park (open throughout the year) is an 18th C. French-style garden with 30ft/9m high beech hedges and a profusion of rhododendrons. Nearby are a fine chambered tomb and a ruined 16th C. tower house.
Address: Howth, IRL-13 Dublin, Ireland

Howth Cliff Walk

Cliffs along the ocean in Howth.
There is an attractive cliff walk along the east and south sides of the Howth Peninsula, passing the Baily Lighthouse (1814), a short distance off the path at the southeastern tip of the peninsula, and St Fintan's Chapel (ninth century). The view over the expanse of Dublin Bay to Dún Laoghaire is magnificent.

GAA Museum & Croke Park Stadium Tour

Croke Park is the home of Ireland's national games of hurling and gaelic football. Founded in 1884, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is Ireland's largest sporting and cultural organisation. The museum has historic exhibits and databanks that highlight historic moments, the great games and names of sport. The tour of Croke Park offers an in-depth look at one of the most historic and modern sporting arenas in the world and includes the dressing rooms, corporate suites, VIP section, media centre and pitch side.
Address: Croke Park, St. Joseph's Avenue, IRL-3 Dublin, Ireland

Royal Dublin Society

Beyond the bridge (1791) over the Dodder, on the right of Merrion Road, are the Royal Dublin Society Showgrounds. This extensive area with its carefully tended turf, low white fences and handsome buildings is the setting of the Dublin Horse Show which is held in August every year, a huge show, with more than 2,000 horses and a full program of races, displays, trials, presentations of prizes and auctions, which attracts visitors and purchasers from far and wide. It is also a great social event, with dances in the large hotels. The Spring Fair, held at the beginning of May, is devoted to livestock and agricultural implements and machinery; with it is associated an industrial display.
The Royal Dublin Society is now mainly concerned with scientific agriculture and stock-breeding, but also has a cultural program of concerts and lectures on subjects of more general interest. It has a library of over 150,000 volumes.
Address: Ballsbridge, IRL-4 Dublin, Ireland

Chester Beatty Library and Gallery of Oriental Art

The Chester Beatty Library and Gallery of Oriental Art located in Dublin Castle was founded by an American who settled in Dublin in 1953. Among the principal treasures in this valuable collection are, in the Garden Library, French Books of Hours of the 14th and 15th C. and a prayer book which belonged to Philip II of Spain; and, in the New Gallery, works of Far Eastern art, including Chinese cups of rhinoceros horn (11th C), Japanese colored woodcuts, Islamic prints, Sanskrit manuscripts (12th-13th C), Indian miniatures, Babylonian clay tablets (2500-2300 B.C.) and numerous texts in all the languages of the Near East.
There are also Egyptian papyrus texts, beautifully illuminated copies of the Qur'an, the Bible, European medieval and renaissance manuscripts are among the highlights of the collection. Turkish and Persian miniatures and striking Buddhist paintings are also on display, as are Chinese dragon robes and Japanese woodblock prints. In its diversity, the collection captures much of the richness of human creative expression from about 2700 BC to the present day.
Address: Dublin Castle, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

Irish Museum of Modern Art

Going towards Dublin along Kilmainham Lane and turning left into Military Road, we come to the main entrance of the Royal Hospital which today houses the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The building was erected between 1680 and 1687 by Sir William Robinson "for maimed and infirm officers and soldiers." No costs were spared in the 1980s when the classical building, in French-Dutch style, was restored. The Great Hall, with many portraits of kings and viceroys, is now used for banquets and conferences. Of particular interest in the chapel are the wood carving and the Baroque stucco ceiling (a copy of the original destroyed in 1902). Some rooms have been furnished in their original style; others have been enlarged to provide exhibition space for the Irish Museum of Modern Art which occupied the new premises in 1991 and can now present in a worthy setting Irish and international art of the 20th C.
Address: The Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, IRL-8 Dublin, Ireland

Grand Canal

Length: 80mi/129km
The Grand Canal links Dublin Bay with the Shannon, following a fairly direct westerly course from Dublin, by way of Naas and Tullamore to Shannon Harbor. Differences of height are accommodated by a total of 52 locks.
Construction of the canal began in 1756, and soon afterwards the project was taken over by a Dublin company and carried forward by 1777 as far as the River Morrell, one of the purposes of this section being to improve the city's water supply. Two years later the completed section of the canal was opened to navigation. In 1785 the Barrow Line, a branch canal from Robertstown to Athy, was brought into use. In 1804 the whole canal was completed and the first boats began to ply between Dublin and Shannon Harbor. Thereafter, until the middle of the 19th C., various other branch canals to towns lying near the main canal were constructed. With the development of the railroad system the economic importance of the canal declined, and this decline continued in the 20th C., until in about 1960 commercial traffic on the branch canals came to an end.
The Grand Canal in Dublin is now used mainly for pleasure boating. Boats are restricted to the following maximum dimensions: length 60ft/18.5m, width 13ft/3.9m, draught 4ft/1.2m, freeboard 9ft/2.75m.
Every boat must bear a name or a number. The maximum permitted speed is 3mi/5km an hour.
Boats keep to the right, with overtaking on the left. The locks may be used only in daylight. At certain points boats can be hired.
Address: 51 St Stephen's Green, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

Royal Canal

Like the Grand Canal, the Royal Canal starts from Dublin and links Dublin Bay with the Shannon. Its course is farther north than that of the Grand Canal, joining the Shannon above Lough Ree. Differences in height are accommodated by 47 locks.
The construction of the Royal Canal was begun in 1792, after more than 30 years' planning and preparatory work. Each section was brought into use as it was completed, and the link with the Shannon was established in 1817, leading to a considerable increase in freight and passenger traffic. Branch canals were constructed to link up with towns near the main canal. But, as with the Grand Canal, increasing competition from the railroads brought economic difficulties. Finally the canal was bought by a railroad company and a railroad line was built alongside it (1845).
During the second half of the 19th century traffic on the canal continued to decline, and some of the branch canals and canal harbors were filled in. By the middle of the 20th century freight transport had stopped completely, and in 1961 the canal was officially closed to commercial traffic. the Royal Canal Amenity Group now works for the preservation of the canal as a historical monument and a recreational facility.
The Royal Canal offers excellent facilites for pleasure boating and cruising. The maximum size of boat permitted is determined by the dimensions of the smallest lock, which is 75ft/22.9m long and 13ft/4m wide, with a draught of 4.5ft/1.4m. The lowest bridges over the canal have a clearance of 10ft/3.05m.
In the Royal Canal there are bream, roach, rudd, tench, pike and the occasional trout.
Address: 51 St Stephen's Green, IRL-2 Dublin, Ireland

Malahide Castle

Entrance of the Malahide Castle.
Southwest of the town of Malahide stands Malahide Castle, which from the 13th C. to 1975 was owned and occupied by the Talbot family and now belongs to the city of Dublin. Much rebuilt and altered in the course of its history, it shows a variety of architectural styles - medieval, Georgian and modern. The Great Hall with its oak roof is the only one in Ireland to have preserved its medieval aspect and to have continued (until 1975) to serve its original purpose. The castle now houses the National Portrait Gallery, a branch of the National Gallery in Dublin. The pictures in this collection are of interest either for the artist (William Hogarth, Joshua Reynolds, etc.) or the sitter (Anne Boleyn, Robert Dudley, James Gandon, Jonathan Swift, Daniel O'Connell, etc.).
Address: Malahide, Ireland

Horse-drawn Caravans

The brightly painted round-topped caravans of the tinkers who used to travel the roads of Ireland and who are thought to be descended from Irish people driven into the west of the country by Cromwell's forces and unrelated to the gypsies of the Continent, are now rarely seen. However, in recent years modern replicas of these picturesque vehicles have become popular with holiday-makers as a means of enjoying a leisurely holiday on the quiet roads of the Republic.
These caravans, drawn by sturdy horses, are some 13ft/4m long by 8ft/2.5m wide and usually have room for not more than four people. They have seats and a table which can be converted into beds and a two-burner cooker working on bottled gas. Bedding and bed linen is provided. The caravan operators have fixed itineraries - there is a choice of routes - with suitable overnight stopping-places. The day's journey is unlikely to be more than 10mi/16km or so. The horse must be given its nosebag of oats once a day and turned out to graze in the evening.
To rent a caravan it is necessary to put down a damage deposit of perhaps 60 to 100 pounds, refundable when the caravan is returned in good condition. Rental charges range from 160 to 240 pounds a week, varying according to season.

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