Dublin Made Easy: Dublin Castle

by Gazette Reporter
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Located on Dame Street, right in the heart of the city, Dublin Castle has stood for over 800 years.

In that time, the castle has served many functions and continues to be a major tourist attraction to this day.

Originally built as a defensive fortification by the Normans, the castle eventually became the official residence of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

Following the foundation of the Irish Free State, the castle temporarily served as the Four Courts, which had been badly damaged during the Civil War.

In more recent times, Dublin Castle has been used to host official state visits, with Queen Elizabeth visiting there in 2011.

And when the castle isn’t hosting dignitaries, it has frequently served as a filming location.
Films such as Barry Lyndon, Becoming Jane and Michael Collins have been shot there and it has also doubled as the Vatican in The Tudors.

Here we take a look at some of the best things to see at Dublin Castle.

Take a Tour of the State Apartments

The State Apartments dominate the south range of the castle’s upper courtyard.

Throne Room, Dublin Castle, Dublin City, Ireland.

They were built as residential quarters of the viceregal court and were the seat of the executive and focus of fashionable and extravagant social life.

Today the Apartments are the venue for Ireland’s Presidencies of the European Union, presidential inaugurations and prestigious functions.

The apartments boast stunning features, such as The Grand Staircase, which has played a major part of the main ceremonial route used during the inauguration of the President of Ireland since 1938.

The State Apartments Galleries host a vibrant programme of exhibitions, many of which explore themes relating to the castle’s history.

The Chester Beatty Library

The Library Chester Beatty Library contains some of the finest treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world.

The collections were left in the care of a Trust for the benefit of the Irish people by Chester Beatty – a successful American mining engineer, collector and philanthropist.

Since moving to Dublin Castle from Shrewsbury Road in 2000, the Chester Beatty Library has gone from strength to strength, with over 300,000 people visiting it each year.

Manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and decorative arts complete this amazing collection – with Egyptian papyrus texts, beautifully illuminated copies of the Qur’an, the Bible, European medieval and renaissance manuscripts among the highlights on display.

The Garda Museum

In a slightly ironic twist, the opening of the Garda Museum in its new location in the Treasury Building of Dublin Castle was held up for several months due to legal wrangles.

While mystery still surrounds what caused the hold up, the museum finally opened its doors to the public last August. Visitors will find an interesting exhibition about the history of An Garda Síochána and information on policing in Ireland before 1922.

Among the museum artefacts are photographs and documents outlining the history and development of policing in Ireland in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Uniforms, equipment, weaponry and an old garda bicycle can be found on display. Those who want to delve even deeper into the how crime has been combatted throughout the years can do so, with areas such as forensics, air support and the water division.

 

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