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This tour will take most of a day, allowing time to visit the different historical buildings and also to enjoy some of Dublin's fine hospitality and cuisine.
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|A good place to start is at O'Connell Bridge - This bridge is unique in that it's width is greater than it's length. Go south across the bridge and then take the right fork along Westmoreland Street. On the right at the end of this street is
Bank of Ireland, 2 College Green, Dublin.2.
This commercial building is one of the most imposing of 18th century buildings in Dublin. It was built in 1729 to house the Irish Parliament but became redundant when the Irish and British Parliaments were linked in London, when the Irish Parliament voted itself out of existence. Take time out to visit one of Europe's most unique chambers, the Irish House of Lords, where you will see Irish oak woodwork, the 18th century tapestries, and a dazzling Irish crystal chandelier of 1233 pieces dating from 1765. The building is also unique in that it has no windows.
|Across the street from the Bank of Ireland is Trinity College. The oldest university in Ireland, Trinity College was founded by Queen Elizabeth 1. On its site the college retains some of its ancient seclusion and its cobbled squares, gardens and parks, have a tranquil atmosphere. The College is renowned for its many great treasures, including the Book of Kells. a 9th century illuminated manuscript, and many other artifacts. Inner Courtyard
|Facing you when you leave Trinity College is one of Dublin's most famous shopping streets - Grafton Street. This is a walking only street. At the entrance is a statue of the famous Molly Malone. There are many recognised stores on the street and side streets, including Brown Thomas, Tricot Marine, Great Outdoors, Patagonia, Bewleys and many more. Along the side streets there are many outdoor cafes and in the evening fine restaurants. There are always fresh flower stalls on Grafton Street and usually some excellent entertainers. At the top of the street you have the Stephens Green shopping centre.|
|St. Stephens Green is a haven from the mad rush of the city. With a lake crossed by a bridge and several walks surrounded by trees and manicured lawns, it's a great place to take a rest on one of the many benches and watch the wildlife (no not people!!) (Lawns & Walks) There are many species of birds in the park especially ducks who are all too well aware when a person has sandwiches or something equally tasty. (The Lake)
On Dawson Street, one of the roads leading from the park is The Mansion House the home of the current Lord Mayor of Dublin.
|Take the Kildare Street exit from the park and on your right is Leinster House (The Dail). This is our parliament building where the Irish Government sits. People are sometimes allowed to the visitors gallery.
To the right of The Dail is the National Museum of Ireland. Here you will find outstanding examples of Celtic art such as the famous Ardagh Chalice and the Tara Brooch. Part of the National Museum of Ireland is the Natural History Museum, a zoological museum having collections of the wild life of Ireland. There is also an African and Asian exhibition. Irish mammals are displayed in the centre of the Irish Room to be found on the ground floor. You will find the red deer, squirrrel, otter, hare, badger, fox, etc. Irish birds are exhibited, with a special display of sea birds and kingfishers.
Continue down Kildare Street and turn right and then right again onto Merrion Street. Here is The National Gallery of Ireland, established by an Act of Parliament in 1854, first opened its doors to the publicin January 1864. At this time there were just 125 paintings in the collection. Today the collection has some 3,000 paintings, and approx. 10,000 other works including watercolours, drawings, prints, and sculptures. The archaeological collections consist of the National Treasury (Ardagh Chalice, Tara Brooch, and Cross of Cong), the Or - Ireland's Gold exhibition showing the finest collection of prehistoric gold artefacts in Europe. Admission is free and there are guided tours.
|Go Back along Nassau Street (here there are several famous craft shops such as the Kilkenny Design Centre), go down Suffolk Street (main tourist center) and walk about 250 metres down Dame Street (on your right you will pass Temple Bar)
Dublin's Cultural Quarter. Temple Bar represent a collection of predominantly contemporary arts and cultural practices. It is well worth a visit to see the Temple Bar Music Centre, Arthouse, the Gallery of Photography, the Irish Film Centre and Irish Film Archive, the Gaeiuty School of Acting The Ark - a Cultural Centre for Children.
A little further and on your left you will find the entrance to Dublin Castle, where major civic functions are held and of course one of the main centres where the Northern Peace process was started.
|A little further down Dame Street you will find The Royal Exchange. This is the principal office of the Dublin Corporation and one of the finest 18th century interiors. It is also used for civic occasions.
Continue along the same road and you will see on the right Christ Church Cathedral. One of Dublin's oldest buildings - the mother church of the dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough in the Church of Ireland. The cathedral founded by Sitric, who was King of the Dublin Norseman, for Dunan, the first bishop of Dublin, who erected a plain wooden church. After the Normans who came to Ireland in 1169, it was rebuilt in stone by Richard de Clare (known as "Strongbow") 1176 saw the death of Earl of Pembroke for Laurence O'Toole, archbishop of Dublin. Neither man lived to see the church completed.
If you continue up Patrick's Close, St. Patrick's Cathedral, will be on your left. The Cathedral stands on the oldest Christian site in Dublin where, it is said, the Saint baptised converts to the Christian faith in a well beside the building. Because of this sacred association with St. Patrick, a church has stood here since 450 A.D. The famous Jonathan Swift who was Dean of St. Patrick's 91713-1745) is buried in the Cathedral beside Stella. There are many memorials to be seen when you visit this Cathedral.
|From Christ Church, if you proceed along High Street and then Thomas Street you will reach the Guinness Hopstore, Jame's Gate. The home of Guinness Stout, the famed black beer with the characteristic creamy head. Arthus Guinness bought Rainsfords Brewery in 1759 and began brewing his famous "Porter" - and this is now prodiced arund the world at the rate of over 20 million glasses every day. The Guinness Hop Store, a converted 19th century building on Crane Street, should be part of your itinery around the city. The four storey building houses the "World of Guinness Exhibition" a museum, and perhaps most importantly a bar where you can sample Dublin's finest brew at your leisure.
Also nearby is Powers Whiskey Distillery and if you take a right turn down to the quays you will find The Clarence Hotel which is owned by the famous pop group U2.
|Hueston Station is the turn around point, with Kilmainham Gaol (Military Road) nearby. Kilmainham Gaol is remarkable for being the biggest unoccupied gaol. It gives the visitor a dramatic and realistic insight, showing what it was like to have been confined in one of the cells, bastions of punishment and correction between 1796 when it opened, and 1924 when it was closed.
Here is also the Irish Museum of Modern Art/The Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Through its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions, The Irish Museum of Modern Art presents an exciting and innovative collection of international and Irish art of the 20th century; and the museum has strong community and study programmes as well as national touring and artists work programmes. The museum which is at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham is said to be the best 17th century building in Ireland. Built originally in 1684 it was a home for retired soldiers and in use for almost 250 years. The building was restored by the Irish Government in 1986. You will find a coffee shop, book shop and other facilities.
Cross over the river and on your right is the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, Benburb Street. Collins Barracks is Ireland's new museum of the decorative arts together with the ecoomic, social, political and miltary history of the state.The National Museum was acquired by the National in 1994. It is the oldest military barracks in Europe and the oldest continuously occupied barracks in the world. There are many artifacts ranging from weaponry to glassware. From the finest in design to the most humble.
Further along the quay heading back towards the city centre is The Old Jameson Distillery, Bow Street. The Old Jameson Distillery in Smithfield Village is in the hearts of old Dublin. Irish Whiskey can trace its histiory back to the 6th century and here you can follow the fascinating craft of wkiskey making. After the tour you will visit the Jameson bar for a traditional Irish whiskey tasting.
|Further along the quay is the Four Courts and then the Penny Bridge can take you back over the river to view Dublin's Viking Adventure, Essex Street West, Temple Bar. Travel through time at Dublin's Viking Adventure, an exciting,vivid experience of life in Viking Dublin. A Norse guide will take you on a journey through a Dublin of long ago. You can walk the narrow streets of a Viking town, talk to the locals and watch their daily work and even encounter the sounds and smells of the city.
Being located near to Wood Quay, the heart of the 9th and 10th century Viking city, this Adventure houses a comprehensive collection of artifacts found during the excavation of the site.
Enjoy a night of excellent Irish Traditional singing and dancing, together with performers of the harp, fiddle, pipes, and the traditional Irish drum, the Bodhran, and you will experience a humerous and irreverent journey through our colourful past. Superb food and drink in a unique and impressive setting make for an unforgettable night.
|Turn left down Capel Street and you are entering another major city centre shopping area of Mary and Henry Street (shopping malls & stores) and of course the famous Moore Street with it's open markets. Moore Street ia an experience not to be missed with the rich Dublin accents. Have fun haggling over the price of fruit or other items, it is expected.|
|Walk along Moore Street and then right and left onto Parnell Square with it's statue of Parnell. Here you will find the Garden of Remberence, for a moment of quiet reflection and for something completly different
The National Wax Museum, Granby Row. Visit a world where fantasy, imagination and reality combine and heroes of the past and present come alive before your eyes. A joy for children is the Children's World of Fairytale and Fantasy. The main section shows life-size figures of heroes of Robert Emmet, Wolfe Tone, Parnell, the 1916 leaders, our Presidents and our Taoisigh. A very attractive feature is the life-size replica of the "Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci. The Chamber of Horrors is for the very brave.
Nearby is The James Joyce Centre, 35 North Great George's Street. Located in a beautifully restored Georgian house, 300 metres from the northern end of O'Connell Street, the main thorougfare. It is dedicated to the promotion of an interest in the life and works of James Joyce and there are daily walks, conducted tours of the house, and walks through the heartland of Joyce's north inner city. This centre also contains the Guinness library for visitors and has audio/visual material which relate to Dublin's most local and international writer. You will also find exhibition rooms, a book shop and a coffee shop called the "Ulysses Experience".
|Back onto O'Connell Street, we are almost at the end of our tour. A visit to the GPO is a must, where the 1916 rebellion was staged. Bullet holes can still be seen in the columns. In the centre of O'Connell Street is a recent statue called Anna Alivia although it is known in much less endearing terms by Dubliners, ask and you will hear many different versions. Finally at the end of O'Connell Street is a statue of the great man himself, facing O'Connell bridge.|
The Chester Beatty Library, 20 Shrewsbury Road, Dublin.4. This library was bequeathed by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty to the Irish nation in 1956. Here you will find approx. 22,000 manuscripts, rare books, miniature paintings and objects from Western and Eastern countries. It also includes 270 copies of the Koran among Islamic manuscripts, illuminations by the greatest master calligraphers and 2,700 Arabic texts. You will also find Biblical Papyri, Burmese, Siamese, Tibetan and Mongolian collections, and many more. There is also a Reference Library and a Book and Gift shop.
Custom House Visitor Centre, Custom House Quay, Dublin.1. Designed by the well-known James Gandon, the Custom House was completed in 1791 and is one of Dublin's finest heritage buildings. Over the past 200 years it has played a unique role in Dublin's economic, political and social structure. The Visitor Centre located in and around the Dome and Clocktower area contains the most important and considerable features left after the destruction of the building by fire in 1921; and this happened during the dramatic events of the War of Independence.
Dublin Zoo, Phoenix Park, Dublin.8. In the grounds of Phoenix Park is Dublin Zoo, just 3km from the City Centre. It is set in 30 acres of landscaped grounds around decorative lakes and more than 700 animals and tropical birds from around the world can be seen. A feeding programme, known as a daily "Meet the Keeper" gives you the opportunity to learn about the rare and endangered species living in Dublin Zoo. As well as this there are always new babies or animals on loan from other Zoos ad Wildlife Parks. Also visit the new "World of Primates" and the monkey islands. "Fringes of the Arctic" which shows polar bears, snowy owls and arctic foxes. Then take a train ride around the Zoo where there there are other facilities, a new children's play area, the petcare area, discovery centre, restaurants and a gift shop.
The James Joyce Museum, The Joyce Tower, Sandycove, Co. Dublin. This tower is one of a series of Martello towers built to withstand an invasion by Napolian and is now a museum devoted to the life and works of James Joyce, who made the tower the setting for the first chapter of Ulysses. Located nine miles south of Dublic on the coast road the tower is an excellent setting for a museum for Joyce, a writer of renown and who remains, world-wide, the writer most associated with Dublin. Ulysses is a great work, both epic and hilarious, which immortalised Dublin. and established Joyce as one of the greatest writers of that age.
National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin.9. Founded in 1795 the NationalBotanic Gardens, Glasnevin, is now administered by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands. The gardens on the south bank of the Tolka have many attractive features including an arboretum, rock garden and burren areas. Also there are many herbaceous borders, decorative plants and a rare example of Victorian carpet bedding.
The Shaw Birthplace, 33 Synge Street, Dublin.8. The "Author of Many Plays" is the simple honour to Bernard Shaw on the plaque outside his birthplace. The first home of the Shaw family and the eminent playwright was a Victorian home and early life mirrors this simplicity. 33 Synge Street has been restored to its Victorian grace and dignity as though the family have just gone out for a walk. The house was opened to the public in 1993.
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