Dublin Castle Highlights (5)
Spend an hour touring Dublin Castle in the company of one of our passionate and knowledgeable guides. Learn about the castle’s thousand-year history and its transformation from a Viking site to a powerful fortress and later to a viceregal palace. The tour begins underground, where you can see parts of the medieval structure, alongside the ancient city walls. Get an insight into the importance of Viking Dublin as a trading centre until the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in 1169. After exploring the nineteenth-century Chapel Royal, end your tour in the Viceregal Palace, which dates from the mid-eighteenth century. Learn how the various rooms in the palace were used for state occasions of great ceremony.
Journey through the castle’s State Apartments and experience some of the most important ceremonial spaces in Ireland. With our guide book to help you, learn how these apartments became the centre for state entertainment on a grand scale under English rule. Read about what took place here during Ireland’s journey to independence. Find out about the splendid state events hosted in many of the palace rooms today – St Patrick’s Hall, for example, which hosts the in which our presidents are inaugurated.
Visit the Chester Beatty Library for the chance to see a collection of treasures that formerly belonged to Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, an American mining engineer and collector. These treasures include some of the world’s rarest manuscripts, books and other items and come from Europe, the Middle East, north Africa and Asia. The library offers free drop-in tours, language tours, talks and workshops for adults and children. Don’t forget the gift shop, where you can pick up choice pieces of homeware, jewellery and Irish crafts, and the Silk Road Café, which serves up delicious Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.
The Garda Museum in the Treasury Building offers an in-depth exhibition about the history of the Irish police force. There are lots of artefacts, photographs and documents, which bring to life the story of policing in Ireland in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The museum is also happy to welcome anyone carrying out police-related research.
The beautiful castle gardens are extremely popular with visitors. They consist of four smaller gardens, one at each corner of the site, all of which contain specially commissioned works of sculpture. At the heart of the gardens is a grassy sword, where patterns representing sea serpents are cut into the lawn. This lawn is on or near the original black pool or dubh linn where the Vikings harboured their ships, and which gave its name to the city.