Tour of Dublin
Overview of pages
This page is provided for a reading experience of the tour. Each page of the tour
has both the appropriate text and picture(s). You also might want to take the tour
of the places related to the Easter Rising, 1916.
DUBLIN CITY TOUR
Pictures 1 & 2
Dublin is a city steeped in history with much to offer the visitor. Even those with a casual interest in history and architecture will find much to admire and amaze. The following places can be visited with four or five days to spend in Dublin. Pick those that most interest you and start your tour wherever you like. Busses are readily available to take you anywhere in the City or take a carriage ride.
Merrion Square Park - (3 & 4)
Merrion Square Park is surrounded by 18th century townhouses. The doors and fanlights are a rainbow of colors and shapes. Among the famous prior occupants of the townhouses were Oscar Wilde, Sir Jonah Barrington, Daniel O'Connell, William Butler Yeats and Sheridan LeFanu. Today most of the buildings are offices; however, some have markers designating the former owners.
The Park (5) is lovely with well-manicured lawns, trees and flowerbeds. It's a far cry from the days in 1845-47, during the Famine, when soup kitchens were set up here to feed the starving people. Find a park bench, sit back, enjoy the beauty and people watch for a while.
O'Connell Street (6 & 7)
Formerly known as Sackville Street and renamed in 1924, O'Connell Street is one of Dublin's most famous streets and certainly its widest (150 feet). At the South end of the street is a monument to Daniel O'Connell, who is known for his role in securing Catholic Emancipation. Most of the street was rebuilt after the destruction and fires that occurred during the 1916 Easter Rising. Clery's department store, Eason's stationers as well as jewelry and other stores occupy the street today.
Trinity College (8)
Trinity College was founded in 1592 although most of the current buildings were constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries. Walk around the campus and enjoy the architecture before going to see the Book of Kells. It is a magnificently illustrated version of the four Gospels that was written in the 7th - 8th centuries. It is believed that it was probably written on the island of Iona in Scotland by followers of St. Columba. The book has been divided into four volumes - two pages of each are open for public viewing of the kaleidoscopic Celtic artwork.
While at Trinity be sure to see the Old Library Long Room. It is the largest single chambered library room in existence and holds 200,000 volumes of Trinity's oldest books. Before leaving the campus stop at the bookstore to check their collection of books for sale. You may find something of interest.
Among the cathedrals that should be visited are St. Patrick's, Christ Church and St. Michan's. St. Patrick's is the largest of the cathedrals. The original church was dedicated in 1192 and restored in the 1860's. Jonathan Swift was dean of the church from 1713-1745.
Strongbow, who is buried in the cathedral, constructed Christ Church in the 12th century. It has the largest vaulted crypt in Ireland.
St. Michan's Church was constructed in 1685 on the site of an 11th century Viking church. It has an 18th century organ on which Handel played the "Messiah" but is better known for its underground vaults that contain the mummified remains of Crusaders and nuns.
No trip to Dublin would be complete without visits to several of the excellent museums; among them are the National Gallery, National Museum and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Be sure to observe the architecture of the buildings as well as their contents.
The National Gallery houses a collection of works by Irish painters of the 17th to 20th centuries. French, Dutch, Italian, British and Spanish works are also exhibited.
The National Museum has a collection of Irish artifacts from 6000 BC to the present which includes such treasures as the Tara Brooch, Cross of Cong, St. Patrick's Bell and the Ardagh Chalice. Another exhibit area is devoted to the 1916 Easter Rising and the 1919-21 War of Independence. Collins Barracks holds an additional part of the Museum's collection.
The Royal Kilmainham Hospital (10) is now home to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, which concentrates on Irish artists. The Hospital was built in the 17th century as a home for disabled and veteran soldiers. It housed 300 veterans, four to a room and was used for this purpose until the 1920's. The exterior and interior reflect the Hospital as it once was. It is considered one of the most important Irish buildings of the 17th century. As a genealogical aside, a publication is underway which will provide the Irish researcher with information on the veterans, nurses, doctors and staff housed at Kilmainham during the 18th and 19th centuries. Plans are to list the name, military rank, country of birth and other pertinent data as well as the reference number of the original microfilm containing additional data (which can be rented at the LDS Church Family History Centers). It is anticipated the publication will be in three volumes, the first of which should be available late 1998.
Genealogical Office & Heraldic Museum and the National Library (11) - The Genealogical Office should be one of your stops if you are researching Irish ancestors. Call first to verify current hours. As of the summer of 1998, they were open weekdays from 10 am to 12:30 pm an again from 2 pm to 4:30 pm.
National Library (12) - In order to research at the National Library you need to obtain a readers ticket. The guard on the first floor can provide you with the papers necessary. The National Library houses a copy of almost every book every published in Ireland. It is composed of the main Reading Room and the Microform Reading Room. Some reference materials are on the shelves in the main Reading Room but most are on closed stacks. You request these books by filling in an application for reading material. Those that are located on site are provided to you within a few minutes (depending on the workload) and those located off sites take a day or two. Materials are listed in the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) or in card catalogues.
Beginners can take advantage of a new service; free advice is available in a room off the main entrance hall. Free printed guides (Getting Started, Parish Registers in the National Library of Ireland, Valuation Records and Local Studies Sources) are also available in the main Reading Room.
Hours are Monday through Friday - 10 am to 12:30 pm and 2 pm to 8:30 pm; Thursday and Friday - 10 am to 12:30 pm and 2 pm to 4:30 pm; Saturday from 10 am to 12:30 pm
Statues (or the Dublin Sense of Humor)
Molly Malone Statue (13). We all are familiar with the story/song of Molly Malone, the fishmonger (fish seller). However, Dubliners have dubbed the statue of the buxom beauty " the tart with the cart" or "the dish with the fish".
Anna Livia (14 &15). On O'Connell Street is a fountain/statue called the Anna Livia to honor the River Liffey (15). The fountain containing the statue is very bubbly and consequently the statue is referred to as "the floozy in the jacuzzi".
Just off Bachelor's Walk on the north side of the River Liffey is a statue of two women shoppers. It has become known as the "hags with bags".
What a sense of humor!!
If you are looking for tourist type Irish goods, start your browsing on Nassau Street but the two most popular areas for shopping are Temple Bar and Grafton Street. Temple Bar is a trendy area most popular for avant-garde fashion that appeals to the younger set.
Grafton Street (16) is a pedestrian-only shopping street with two large department stores a myriad of smaller shops. Explore the side streets off Grafton for specialty stores.
Check a Dublin map or guide book for a listing of the areas of specialty shopping such as antiques, paintings, open markets, etc.
What visit, especially a genealogically related visit, would be complete without perusing bookstores. The map of Dublin I used listed 38 bookstores! Whatever you're looking for, chances are good that they will have it.
Dawson Street is the main area for bookstores with Waterstones and Hodges Figgis (with 1 1/2 millions books!) located there. There are many smaller booksellers all over the City - just keep your eyes open as you wander around the City. There are also a number of used and antiquarian booksellers.
This has only been a brief tour of some highlights of Dublin City. With a longer stay, there are many additional places to visit - Bank of Ireland, Newman House, City Hall, Marsh's Library, Whiskey Corner and Guinness Brewery, Dublin Writer's Museum, Custom House and more. The places you see are limited only by the time you have.
Places of Interest
For information and pictures of the General Post Office, St. Stephen's Green Park, Kilmainham Gaol, Collins (Royal) Barracks, Arbour Hill Cemetery, Dublin Castle and the Four Courts sites please see the 1916 Easter Rising web page (with narrative and pictures). Tour, and Article
Submitted by Corky
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[an error occurred while processing this directive] wonderful Irish genealogist to have visited
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