Free Admission Tourist Attraction in Ireland #16
Dublin Castle is a complex of Government Offices that served as the centre of British rule in Ireland from the twelfth century. If you ever saw the film 'Michael Collins' then you may remember the scene in the Castle courtyard where Collins is ceremoniously presented with the Castle when British rule ended in 1922.
The Castle was originally a Norman fortress but was then developed into a Royal residence and later into an administrative centre. The Castle is host to many Government ceremonies and is the home of the European Presidency approximately every ten years. After the Strongbow invasion of 1172 the ruling Normans built the Castle as a defensive structure. Dublin Castle formed one corner of the defensive perimeter of the entire city. Over the centuries the buildings in the Dublin Castle complex have been demolished and replaced although the 'Record Tower' still survives from the thirteenth century, the only surviving tower of the original fortification.
This place is steeped in history. It is from here that the Irish rebel leader Red Hugh O'Donnell escaped in 1592. It is from Dublin Castle that the Irish 'Crown Jewels' were famously stolen in 1907, never to be recovered.
The richly decorated rooms of the 'State Apartments' are within the Castle walls and are well worth a visit. Saint Patrick's Hall is the most important of these rooms and is very ornate with a painted ceiling and fine decorations. Among the other fine apartments are the Throne Room, the State Drawing Room and the Dining Room. In modern times the crypt of the Chapel Royal is used as an arts centre, and occasional music concerts are held in the grounds of the Castle. Guided Tours and Self-Guide tours of the State Apartments and Medieval Undercroft are available for a small fee. The Silk Road Cafe is located in the Chester Beatty Library.
The grounds of the Castle are also home to the Chester Beatty Library, which houses the collections of the mining magnate, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, and which was named European Museum of the Year in 2002.
Dublin Castle is located off Dame Street in Dublin, yards from Christ Church Cathedral and Trinity College. It is well worth a stroll around the famous courtyard and the small fee to be guided through the State Apartments is a bargain.
Find out more here: http://www.dublincastle.ie
Video about Dublin Castle
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