Dublin: Top 10

(continuer en français) – Published: March 17, 2023

The capital of the Republic of Ireland owes its origins to the Vikings who chose the estuary of the River Liffey to settle in the 9th century. Dublin has a tragic past, from the struggle for independence to the Great Famine of the 19th century. Fortunately the recent period has seen a profound renewal pushing Dublin into the modern age.

01. Dublin Castle

The Castle symbolises power in Ireland. First there was a Viking fort when the Vikings settled in several coastal towns. Then from the 12th century onwards, the British established their seat of power here, with the castle serving as the residence of the Viceroy. Its renovated flats are now used for the official purposes of the Republic of Ireland.

02. Trinity College Dublin

For visitors, the Trinity campus provides a large green space in the centre of Dublin, with cricket and rugby pitches for university competitions. The college was founded in 1592, but most of the older buildings date from the 18th century. In addition to its historical prestige, the university is highly ranked, with almost 20,000 students.

03. Book of Kells

The Book of Kells is kept at Trinity College. It is a 7th century illustrated manuscript containing the Christian scriptures. It is well documented on the ground floor of the university’s main library. The library is 213 feet, 65 metres, long and contains more than 200,000 books, as well as the bust of many major authors.

04. Christ Church Cathedral

The cathedral was built from the Viking period in the 11th century and has been altered many times since, its present appearance dating from the 19th century. The church has often been associated with Irish history, particularly in relation to British rule. It belongs to the Church of Ireland whereas the Roman Catholic faith has a pro-cathedral.

05. Custom House

This large building on the banks of the Liffey occupies the site of the old medieval port. It was a prestigious building of the late 18th century using the best materials. Partly destroyed in 1921 during the War of Independence, the building was restored to accommodate the various government departments that occupy it today.

06. Halfpenny Bridge

Perhaps the most graceful construction in Dublin. This cast iron footbridge dates back to 1816 and replaced a ferry service across the Liffey. For a century a toll was levied on it, which gave it its nickname. Located between Temple Bar and a district of department stores, the footbridge is very busy, which led to its renovation in the early 20th century.

07. Temple Bar

This area in the heart of Dublin has a rough reputation with its many pubs turning into nightclubs in the night. Some of them still play traditional Irish music and are very popular with tourists. Originally slated for demolition to make way for a bus station, Temple Bar has survived and is now trying to turn its fortunes towards cultural activities.

08. Kilmainham Museum

Situated slightly outside the city centre the former 17th century military hospital has become a museum dedicated to modern art. At one time it was considered as a location for the Parliament, but the members of Parliament chose to stay in the centre of Dublin. It is also a popular venue for ist park, both for walking and for hosting major concerts.

09. Famine Memorial

The Great Famine of the mid-19th century continues to traumatise Ireland’s recent history. It was the origin of a great emigration that contributed to populating the new world. Since 1997, a poignant memorial on the IFSC quay depicts starving people. In Toronto, the same artist depicted them at the moment of their arrival, full of hope.

10. IFSC – International Financial Services Centre

Launched in the late 1980s, the port area regeneration programme was initially aimed at financial services and later expanded to include other activities. This was one of the factors that led to the emergence of the Celtic Tiger and the period of strong growth in the Irish economy. In turn, it also accelerated the transformation of society.

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  1. Ireland has been on our travel bucket list for a while now. I’m taking this as a sign that we should bump it up the list. It looks like there is a lot to see and explore in Dublin. The main library at Trinity College looks impressive! Thanks for sharing. Linda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dublin is the great city for a city break for a few days, en route to another European destination or before a visit to a part of Ireland that is so different from Dublin. The visit to the Book of Kells and the Long Room will be interrupted by the end of the year for renovations. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

      Liked by 1 person

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