The Casino is considered to be one of the finest 18th century neo-classical buildings in Europe.
Designed by Sir William Chambers as a pleasure house for James Caulfield, 1st Earl of Charlemont, The Casino meaning 'small house', surprisingly contains 16 finely decorated rooms.
These include an entrance hall, saloon, boudoir, library, state room and kitchen.
The interior of the Casino is intricately decorated with ornate plasterwork and richly patterned marquetry floors.
It is a box of tricks, full of illusions and architectural devices.
Entry to the Casino is by guided tour only. As the interior is accessed by a stairway there is limited disabled access.
The Marino Casino is one of those interesting houses that can still be found scattered all over Ireland.
When it was built, there were green pastures (or maybe even woods) surrounding it, but now it's surrounded by residential areas. A bit weird to just turn a corner and go back in time a few centuries.
The house itself was meant to be a mystery. The designer made it impossible to look inside from the outside (concave window-glass) and gave it the look of a temple. From the outside it does look like it's a big empty building, but inside it turns out to be a complete house (8 rooms or so, kitchen, the works).
Everything has been designed in detail. The chimney is shaped like a vase (check out the picture), the door looks huge but only part of it opens etcetera. In short, a very nice example of architecture. Go check it out.
The Casino in Marino
And no, it's not a gambling den! This lovely building sits around three miles north of Dublin along the part of the coast dividing Fairview from Marino and was built as part of the huge Marino estate of Lord Charlemont in the mid 1700s. This is now all that remains - a deceptive building indeed. Although only fifty feet square it contains three storeys and sixteen rooms, all now restored to their original grandeur. The building was built with a view to the sea (in those days the North Strand lay just metres away). Charlemont however had a row with and sacked his former estate manager, who then rather spitefully built a crescent of Georgian houses himself on adjoining land that blocked Charlemont's view of Dublin Bay! This crescent is a thing of beauty itself however, and one of the few examples of Georgian terracing still retaining their original function, that of private dwellings. It was in one of these that a certain Bram Stoker penned the classic 'Dracula' novel. But it is the Casino designed by William Chambers that steals the show. The same man designed Trinity College's examination hall and chapel, and also Charlemont House - now the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art in Parnell Square. Not a bad resumé for a man who never set foot in Ireland - let alone Dublin!
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