Five Dublin Sights Not To Be Missed

Queen Elizabeth Sees The Book of Kells

Queen Elizabeth Sees The Book of Kells

These are Five Dublin Sights Not To Be Missed on your next visit to the city.

The 16th century institution of Trinity College is one of Dublin city centre’s best known landmarks. When you walk inside the front gates the first thing you see is the Front Square, with the Chapel and Examination Hall to its left and right. The oldest building on campus is the Rubrics student dormitory, built in 1701. It was updated and revamped during the 19th century. Beyond this again can be found New Square, home of the Venetian Gothic Museum Building, dating back to 1852. The School of Engineering is located here; the architect Benjamin Woodward employed the ideas of his comrade John Ruskin as a template. In and around this beautiful building can be seen stone carvings of various flora and fauna. The Douglas Hyde Gallery and the Book of Kells, in the Old Library, are the biggest draw for tourists.

kilmainham_gaol

Kilmainham Gaol

No visit to Dublin is complete unless it includes a visit to Kilmainham Gaol. This fascinating museum tells the story of Ireland from the 18th century on and, in particular, its fight for freedom from the English Crown. Book a guides tour in advance of your visit. The tour guides here truly bring this story to life and help you to see it from the inmates’ eyes. However, much of the information will probably go over the heads of children under the age of eight, so it may be best if they give this a miss. Over eights, however, will probably understand and therefore enjoy most of it – be warned however, some of the talks are longer than others! There is a great sense of sadness in the courtyard – if only the walls here could talk. Truly one for those with an  interest in Irish history.

st michans crypt

The Crypt at St. Michan’s Church

St. Michan’s Church was built on the foundations of a small Danish church from the 11th century. However, what stands here today is the result of a 17th century reconstruction. This Protestant church was last restored in 1998. The organ, reputed to have been the instrument upon which Handel played his classic Messiah, dates back to 1724 and has the distinction of being amongst the oldest of its kind still in use in this country. Here can also be seen a 16th century chalice, along with an 18th century font and pulpit. Entry to the church itself is free, but entry to the crypt is by ticketed guided tour only. The limestone walls of this burial chamber have aided the preservation of the bodies, some of which lie in open coffins. If you’ve always wanted to touch the hand of a mummy, you’ve come to the right place. “Attractions” (for want of a better word) include a nun buried in the 1600s, a man with one hand and one foot, a Crusader who was cut in half in order to be placed in his coffin, and the executed Sheare Brothers, who were involved in the 1798 rebellion.

The Chester Beatty Library

The Chester Beatty Library

The Chester Beatty Library, winner of the 2002 European Museum of the Year award, is a fabulous testament to the man after which it was named, who was a prolific collector of  international books, manuscripts, prints, paintings, carvings, and sculptures. It contains one of the best collections of Islamic artefacts, manuscripts dating back to 800/900 AD, and the oldest known versions of the Gospels of the Evangelists Mark and Luke, the letters of St. Paul and the Book of Revelations. Take lunch mid-visit in the Silk Road Café – it comes recommended.
From time to time special collections of books, manuscripts, artefacts and photographs are exhibited in the library.
This is one of the most fascinating museums to be found anywhere in the world.

National Gallery Dublin

National Gallery Dublin

In the National Art Gallery you can happily spend many hours viewing their selection of art from Western Europe. Some is from the 20th century; others date back to the Middle Ages. Concerts, lectures and workshops are also held here. On Level 1 you will find Irish art dating back to the 17th century, with a separate Millennium Wing gallery dedicated to paintings from the 20th century. Jack B. Yeats gets his own collection in the Yeats Museum. Visit in January and you can view the very delicate Turner watercolours – for most of the year the light is too vivid for them to be displayed, but temporary exhibitions are also sometimes held.

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