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Dublin Castle

Dame St, Dublin 2, Co. Dublin, Ireland
| +353 1 645 8800
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A Colorful Collision Between Ancient and Modern Dublin  Ireland
Stretch your legs on this excellent Dublin walking tour Dublin  Ireland
A Colorful Collision Between Ancient and Modern Dublin  Ireland
Stretch your legs on this excellent Dublin walking tour Dublin  Ireland

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Sun - Sat 9:45am - 5:15pm

A Colorful Collision Between Ancient and Modern

Dublin Castle has played a key role in Ireland's history ever since it was founded by the Normans in the twelfth century, on the site of the original Viking harbor known as Black Pool. ("Dubhlinn" in Irish, this is where the city gets its name.)

To get past the Upper Courtyard and see inside the castle rooms you have to go on a 50-minute guided tour, which at time of writing (August 2013) cost only 4.50 euros.

The tour is rather a polished barrage of dates, facts, and names, but is extremely interesting if you can keep up, and traces the history of the castle (and by extension, of both Dublin and Ireland as well) from inception right the way through to present day.

Much of the tour concentrates on the rule of the British viceroys, and it's fascinating to learn of the role the castle played in the Irish rebellion of 1916.

Wandering the lavishly decorated rooms (which are sometimes closer to dizzyingly gaudy than merely ornate), you'll learn other golden nuggets of information, such as why the throne no longer has any feet (hint: Queen Victoria was rather short), what the convex mirrors in the dining room were for, and how writers such as Jonathan Swift and Bram Stoker were linked to the castle.

The tour ends with a quick trip to the subterranean Undercroft, the only section which looks like a "proper" castle (rather than a palace). It contains the remains of the thirteenth century Norman Powder Tower, the oldest medieval structure in Dublin.

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AFAR Ambassador
over 5 years ago

Stretch your legs on this excellent Dublin walking tour

One of my favorite ways to explore a new place is to take a guided walking tour on our first day there. Pat Liddy’s Walking Tours offers an in-depth look at Dublin. Our guide, Liam, lead us on a three hour odyssey around the city, filled with funny stories, local sayings & lots of Dublin history.

We met Liam at our hotel & following a leisurely stroll through St. Stephen’s Green, set off for Merrion Square to learn about Oscar Wilde & Dublin’s historic Georgian rowhouses. Liam was a wealth of knowledge on Dublin’s historic home & gorgeous Georgian doors.

As we walked along the River Liffey, Liam told us about Dublin’s evolution as a port city, its role in the Great Famine & the history of the city during the Easter Rising. We marveled at the Stiffy by the Liffey (aka the loved/hated spire across the street from the Easter Rising post office).

Following a stop for coffee, we crossed back over to the south side on the famous Ha’Penny Bridge (originally a toll of a ha’penny was required to cross the bridge). Walking through normally packed Temple Bar was enjoyable in the morning hours & Liam pointed out his favorite bars & restaurants.

We circled up by the Christ Church Cathedral (which we later went back to tour) & ended our tour at the Dublin Castle, inside the city’s original walls & the original seat of power of Britain in Ireland.