Heritage Ireland

Royal Hospital Kilmainham

The Royal Hospital Kilmainham stands on the site of a seventh-century early Christian settlement, replaced in Norman times with a monastery of the Knights Hospitallers.

The building as we know it today was begun in 1680. Leading architects such as William Robinson, Thomas Burgh and Francis Johnson made it the starting point for Dublin’s development into a city of European standing.

Inspired by Les Invalides in Paris, the building was to be a retirement home for old soldiers. Over the next 247 years, thousands of army pensioners lived out their final days within its walls.

In 1991, the Royal Hospital Kilmainham became home to the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

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