The first structure was built here by King John in 1204 and served as the seat of British power in Ireland until 1922. Today, the Irish government uses the castle for state events along with other offices.
I almost forgot, yes, if it is no raining, you can also do some sightseeing, checking out some churches and castle in this place, but to be honest, I didn’t come for that, if I did catch something it was probably on the way from one pub to another.
You hang around in this city, checking out all tourist places, but there is a time when you just want to visit a peaceful local place, where no tourist are there and this Lord Edward was the place :)
For an afternoon drink this was an excellent choice, only few local’s at the bar, you can enjoy some local beers and have a chat regarding PL football (what else?) and life in general. Apparently the person serving at the bar while we were there did some extensive travelling in his days and this made the conversations even more interesting.
After the historical visits to the Guinness Storehouse and Ireland’s older pub the Brazen Head it was time for some fresh modern and new stuff, but eh… we are still in the beer business, no worry, next visit was to the legendary, even if its new, that is the Porterhouse!
This rather new place (established 1996) is Ireland’s largest independent brewery, yes this is a true real local beer brewery with special qualities. The Plain Porter is their trade mark, fantastic fresh quality beer. This place was also a good place for late lunch, I enjoyed the steak sandwich washed up with the Porter beer :)
After the visit to the Guinness Storehouse, we decided to take a walk to the centre, to burn few calories as well as sightseeing on the way, and as usual in such case, out of the blue, you find yourself in a street corner looking at something unusual, that was written: The Brazen Head, I had no idea what is it but the curiosity sends me in to check it out, what a surprise it was to discover that this is Ireland’s oldest pub, established 1198, at list that’s what is says. With the nice weather permission we took two unknown beer for us and got relax in the court yard of this place.
The Guinness Storehouse is the no. 1 tourist attraction not only in Dublin, but in whole of Ireland. By no means, you do not need to be Guinness fan to visit here, and obviously high percentage of visitors seems are not, but still are visiting this site. For me as general beer fan, this was a must, I do not drink Guinness much in my own country or else where I’m travelling because I do try always to drink the local craft beer of any destination I visit, and now as I am here, this is the local beer, and this is what I was drinking.
The site itself is very interesting, tell history of the Brewery, how they make the beer, beer in general how it is brewed and so on. The highlight of the place is the bar upstairs where you can get as part of your entry fee one fresh pint of Guinness, and yes, it was testing excellent as it should :)
PS: It was probably the longest time I was standing on queue in a tourist sites, usually if they are crowded, I skipped them (I haven’t been to Eifel tower yet, even I was in Paris many times)
Naturally, the O'Connell Monument is located at the foot of O'Connell Street.
O'Connell was known as "the Great Liberator," largely responsible for overseeing the popular movement to accord Roman Catholics full civil right in Ireland in the early 19th century. t's too bad that O'Connell is so high up on his pedestal - you can't really see him from below! The memorial is mostly the work of Dublin-born John Henry Foley (1818 - 1874); who also worked on the famous Albert Memorial in London.
John Henry Foley (1818-74) died before the O'Connell work was completed, so it was also worked on by his pupil, Thomas Brock (1847-1922). The completed sculpture was unveiled in1882. The figures on the frieze seem particularly good.
VT-member Anne-Marie also brought me to the mouth of River Liffey. There were nice views across the beach and bay, and on the other side of the river you could see the big ferries docked at the harbor. There was a long pier with a red lighthouse in the end, but we did not go so far as it was starting to get dark. At this place we were also near the Poolbeg chimneys, two tall chimneys, 207 metres high, that can be seen from many places in Dublin.
Located at the north end of O'Connel Street, this square contains the gate theatre, the City gallery and the Dublin writers museum along with the Garden of Remberance, the Irish memorial to their fallen in war.
UPDATE - This exhibition has recently ended ANOTHER spell at St Stephens (as well as a short time in London -Which I visited). Not sure if there are plans to re-open it again - will keep my eyes open for any 'leaks'
This is just a temporary exhibition, but if you can catch it, it's well worth a visit, especially for fans of Phil and Thin Lizzy, music fans, those of us of a certain age, who remember the 70's-80's etc.
Originally, the planned closing date was May 2nd 2011, but this was extended, and after briefly closing, re-opened again later in the year - I'm hoping there will be a permanent museum one day.
Once I read about this exhibition, to commemorate 25 years since Phil died, I booked my flight to Dublin! I was a huge Thin Lizzy fan, and Phil was my hero through my teen years and into my early twenties. I saw Lizzy play live 7 times, with their various line ups.
Set on the upper floor of Stephens Green Shopping Centre, with views to St. Stephen's Green, this is a lovely location.
I paid my 10 Euros entrance fee on the door (you can book through Ticketmaster, but there are aditional booking fees) and entered the exhibition, to be greeted by Philomena, Phils Mother! Apparently, she often pops down here.
I wanted to buy a copy of her updated book 'My Boy'-I'd read the original a few years ago (published 1995), and really enjoyed it. Well, I purchased a copy here, which Philomena signed with a lovely personal message- it is hard to believe that she is 80 years old - she appears at least 20 years younger, and with stunning green eyes! We had a short chat, then had a photo taken.
I spent a couple of hours wandering around the exhibition (and could have spent longer, especially watching the concert videos, and comments from other musicians-Joe Elliott, Imelda May, Bono etc).
The exhibition contains "the biggest ever collection of memorabilia, song lyrics, exhibits, paintings, tributes and photographs of the late rock legend",
It is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin City Council, Dublin Tourism and RTE 2fm.
I particularly enjoyed reading the post cards and letters etc from the young Phil to his mother and road manager- quite poetic-not just a rushed obligatory message. Also the candid photos, and personal effects.
For a couple of hours, I was a teenager again, remembering the music, spotting album covers and singles that I still have today (sadly, I had to sell some of these LP's , when 'times were hard', but I'm trying to re-build my collection) and remembering my happy times spent at Thin Lizzy concerts, the thrill of buying their latest release, winning a copy of 'Whiskey in the Jar' in a local newspaper competition, my room at the nurses home, with my walls adorned with posters of Phil, head banging at local discos to Emerald, Boys are Back in Town etc, snogging with boys that were Lizzy fans - and special memories of a boy who 'looked like Phil' - Yes, being a Lizzy/Phil fan, led to a few special relationships!! Sadly, I never met my hero - I nearly did-I'd planned a night out to a club in Sheffield, that I visited frequently, but at the last minute, had to work a night shift - the night that Phil was there! Recently, I've heard from so many VTers that met him-Jealous!
I re-visited the exhibition at Easter, then again in October. (I later caught it in London, but it didn't have the same 'magic' - not because I'd seen it a few times already, but the lay out was different and a bit less 'personal')
Mon-Sat: 10am - 7pm (Last admission: 6pm)
Thurs: 10am - 9pm (Last admission: 8pm)
Sun: 11am - 6pm (Last admission: 5pm)
ADULTS: €10 (weekdays) • €12 (Sat/Sun)
CHILDREN (under 14): €6 (weekdays) • €7 (Sat/Sun)
FAMILY: €26 (weekdays) • €30 (Sat/Sun)
Family Ticket allows access for 2 adults and 2 children.
STUDENTS: €8 (weekdays) • €9 (Sat/Sun)
OAP: €8 (weekdays) • €9 (Sat/Sun)
GROUPS: Contact us on (01) 241 1500 for group rates
Also visit Phils statue nearby on Harry Street (off Grafton Street - look for the flower stalls), His pic on The Wall of Fame in Temple Bar, and his grave at %L[ http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/6f35e/47d3f/4/]St Fintans cemetery at Sutton
The Bretzel is a bakery famous in Dublin for baking breads in a traditional oven. Fresh smells waft from the door as the Bakery opens to sell breads and cakes prepared by bakers who start each morning at 5 am. Don't miss it if you are spending any time in Portobello or the south center of Dublin city.
The National War Memorial Gardens is located in Inchicore, a good hour’s walk from Dublin city centre. The garden is a nice and quiet place, great for a walk or a break – even in typical Irish weather… There is a sunken rose garden, various terraces, pergolas, lawns, and avenues lined with impressive trees...
It is also a Memorial Garden, dedicated to the memory of 49,400 Irish soldiers who died in World War I, and there are a few monuments spread around the garden area. For instance two pairs of Bookrooms in granite representing the four provinces of Ireland. The names of all dead soldiers are contained in the Bookrooms, but they are not open for public.
There has been a castle here since the days of King John, but most of the present Dublin Castle dates from the 18th century. During the years it has been a defensive fortification, a royal residence, a military garrison, the seat of British rule in Ireland, Courts of Justice, and now it is a major Irish government complex.
If you want to see Dublin Castle from inside and visit the State Apartments and the Undercroft (the medieval castle) you have to join a guided tour... But I only had a look around the upper and lower castle yard... The most impressive was the great Record Tower, which is the only surviving tower of the original 13th century fortification, and the Chapel Royal from early 19th century with fine Gothic revival interiors, beautiful woodcarvings and a huge stained-glass window above the altar...
The Phoenix Park was once a royal hunting place, but was opened to the public by Lord Chesterfield in 1745. It is one of the largest city parks in Europe, and home of the residence of the Irish President (Áras an Uachtaráin), the Dublin Zoo, Ashtown Castle, and a few other points of interest...
I went for a walk through a small part of the park and it seemed like a really nice place. I followed one of the many tree-lined walking paths, and had a look of the beautiful flowerbeds, the big lawns, and a couple of ponds. I passed by the Wellington Monument, which is honouring the Duke of Wellington, a Dubliner who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. The monument is a 62 metres tall obelisk - making it the second tallest obelisk in the world (after the one in Washington).
The Protestant Church of St. Michan is built on the site of an early Danish chapel (from 1095), but the current church dates from a reconstruction in 1685 – with the latest restoration in 1998. The church itself has an interesting interior; some very fine woodwork, a 1724 organ (on which Handel is said to have played his Messiah), a chalice dating from 1516, and the pulpit and font from the 18th century.
It is free to visit the church, but you can only visit the burial chambers underneath the church on a paid guided tour (weird tour guide, but very funny...). Here you can ‘admire’ mummies in their open coffins... A quite macabre tour, but also interesting... Meet a 400-year-old nun, a thief, a Crusader who had to be sawn in half to fit into his coffin, and the coffins of the Sheare Brothers who were executed during the Rising of 1798...