Trinity's Dublin Hinterland

Throughout Dublin city and county you will find an abundance of visitor attractions to discover and explore, from the most majestic museums to more modern centres of entertainment. Whether your interest is sport, history, art or literature, whether you want to follow a heritage trail, visit one of Europe's oldest zoos, eat in a castle or follow in the footsteps of Dublin's many musical greats, there's something for everyone in Dublin.

O'Connell Street

SpireO'Connell Street is the main thoroughfare in the city centre and is one of the widest streets in Europe. It stretches from Parnell Square to O'Connell Bridge.The Monument of Light, the largest sculpture in the world, standing 120 metres high, is a landmark located in the middle of O'Connell Street just across from the famous General Post Office. Dublin's General Post Office is one of the last great public buildings of the Georgian era. It is the headquarters building for An Post, the Irish Postal Service. The building played a central part as the headquarters of the republican army in the 1916 Rising, one of the most significant events in the history of Ireland.

Close to O'Connell Street is the James Joyce Centre at 35 North Great George's Street. The centre is in a restored Georgian house and exhibitions include interactive computer technology, video documentaries and reconstructions of period rooms.

At the north end of O'Connell Street is Parnell Square, which contains the Garden of Remembrance, created to commemorate the deaths of the Irish volunteers in the 1916 rising. Opposite the garden is Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane - which has the distinction of being the oldest modern art gallery in the world. The Collection at the gallery includes Impressionist masterpieces by Renoir, Degas, Monet, Morisot, alongside the largest public collection of 20th century Irish art. The most recent acquisition is the Studio of Francis Bacon, born in Dublin, together with its entire contents numbering over 7,500 items. The Studio has been reconstructed at the gallery and is a permanent exhibit.

The Power of the Pen

The Dublin Writers Museum which opened in 1991 is situated close to the Hugh Lane gallery. Situated in a magnificent 18th century mansion in the north city centre, the collection features the lives and works of Dublin's literary celebrities over the past 300 years through their books, letters, portraits and personal items.

James JoyceAs the birthplace of William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett, Dublin has produced more Nobel Prize Laureates for Literature than any other city in the world. Other notable writers and playwrights from Dublin include Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels) and the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker.

Dublin is arguably most famous, however, as the town of James Joyce. Dubliners is a collection of short stories by Joyce about incidents and characters typical of residents of the city in the early part of the 20th century. His most celebrated work, Ulysses, is also set in Dublin and delegates will be able to follow in his footsteps around the city. Additional widely celebrated writers from the city include JM Synge, Seán O'Casey, Brendan Behan, Maeve Binchy and Roddy Doyle. Ireland's biggest libraries and literary museums are found in Dublin, including the National Print Museum of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland. Other cultural jewels located in the capital include the world famous Abbey Theatre.

Smithfield and the Phoenix Park

In recent years, Smithfield has become the centre of an ambitious urban redevelopment scheme, with riverside public housing and a growing population of bars and restaurants surrounding a public space. This public space hosts a number of cultural events throughout the year including seasonal markets, a Christmas season ice rink and concerts.

One of the main attractions in Smithfield village is The Old Jameson Distillery. The site closed as a working distillery years ago and the buildings are now a museum dedicated to the history of whiskey production. Close to Smithfield village is the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History which has its home in the decommissioned Collins Barracks - to this day the largest military barracks ever built in the world. Artefacts on display range from silver, ceramic and glassware pieces to weaponry, furniture, examples of folk life and costume.

The Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed public park in Europe. The park contains Dublin Zoo (Europe's third oldest), a police museum, a visitor centre, Farmleigh House, Ashtown Castle (a small 17th century tower house), monuments to public figures, the homes of both the Irish President (Áras an Uachtaráin) and the American Ambassador, as well as several lakes and herds of deer.

Temple Bar and the Old City

Temple BarBordered by the Liffey to the north and Dame Street to the south, Temple Bar is Dublin's Cultural Quarter and a maze of cobbled streets. This area is home to more than 50 contemporary arts and cultural centres. There is an array of restaurants, bars, shops and hotels to suit all tastes and pockets. Meeting House Square is an open modern space in the heart of Temple Bar where markets are held at the weekends and films are screened during the summer. A number of cultural centres and arts organisations are located around this area including Temple Bar Music Centre, The Ark, The Gallery of Photography and the National Photographic Library.

The Ha'Penny Bridge links Temple Bar to the north side of the river. The bridge is Dublin's oldest pedestrian crossing over the River Liffey. It was erected in 1816 as the Wellington Bridge and it acquired its better known nickname from the halfpenny toll levied on all users of the bridge up to 1919.

Dublin Castle is the heart of historic Dublin. Dublin gets its name from the Black Pool - ‘Dubh Linn' which was on the site of the present Castle garden. Another important site in this area is The Chester Beatty library which houses the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. The Library's rich collection of manuscripts, prints, icons, miniature paintings, early printed books and objets d'art from countries across the world offer visitors a visual feast.

Dublin's City Hall contains an exciting multimedia exhibition which traces the history of Dublin City. It tells of the city's founding; from Viking times, through prosperity and oppression, into the unique and vibrant city of today.

Close to City Hall is Dublin's oldest building - Christ Church Cathedral, founded c.1030 by Sitric, King of the Dublin Norsemen. Treasures of Christ Church include a unique range of manuscripts, historic artefacts and spectacular examples of gold and silverware. The choral services are sung by the Cathedral choir, which traces its origins to the choir school founded in 1480.
The exhibitions at Dublinia and the Viking World reveal fascinating glimpses of the Viking and medieval past. The exhibition is housed in a beautiful neo-Gothic building, linked to Christ Church Cathedral by an elegant covered bridge, one of the city's landmarks. Saint Patrick's Cathedral is another important landmark in the city. It has contributed much to Irish life throughout its long history. The writer and satirist Jonathan Swift was Dean of Saint Patrick's from 1713-1747. Handel's Messiah received its first performance in 1742 sung by the combined choir of Saint Patrick's and Christ Church.

Grafton Street

Grafton Street is Dublin's principal shopping street, running from College Green in the north to Saint Stephens Green in the south. The Molly Malone statue is located at the end of Grafton Street, opposite Trinity College. Molly Malone was a semi historical/legendary figure who was commemorated in the song Cockles and Mussels, a Dublin anthem. At the south end of Grafton Street is St. Stephens Green, Ireland's best known Victorian park.

The Liberties and West

In the early years of Dublin's development the network of streets known as the Liberties lay outside the city walls and formed one of many Gaelic self-governing districts. One of the main attractions in this area today is the Guinness Storehouse - where visitors can take an incredible journey through the history and making of the world famous beer. It's a dramatic story that begins over 250 years ago and ends in the Gravity Bar with a complimentary pint of Guinness and an astonishing view of Dublin City.
The Royal Hospital at Kilmainham now houses the Irish Museum of Modern Art and was built between 1680 and 1684 as a retirement home for old soldiers. It was the first great classical structure to be built in Ireland and its four great buildings around a central courtyard are worth seeing for their architecture alone. The museum shows regularly changing exhibitions that combine pieces from its own collection with the work of guest artists.

Close by is Kilmainham Gaol, Ireland's most infamous prison, which offers an intriguing social history of life in the city from famine and occupation to the struggle for independence.

Docklands

The Convention Centre Dublin is the greenest and most sophisticated structure of its type in Europe. It anchors this unique part of Dublin, now undergoing a €10 billion process of regeneration and change, effectively extending the city centre down river and adding exciting public spaces, transport links, and digital hubs. The O2 Theatre, Ireland's largest fully-equipped indoor concert venue is next door to the Convention Centre Dublin and boasts an eminent roll-call of live artist performances, album and video recordings to match any music venue in the world. In the 1990s, the Point Theatre, as the O2 was then known, became a familiar setting for millions of European television viewers, as it was the venue for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994, 1995 and 1997, becoming the only venue to have hosted the final three times, and the MTV Music Awards in 1999. One of Dublin's finest heritage buildings, the Custom House, can also be seen here. It was designed by the renowned architect James Gandon and completed in 1791.

A Virtual Companion

Please click on www.dublinculturetrail.ie for a downloadable and engaging companion for your tour of Dublin.

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The Institution of Engineering and Technology Analog Devices MIDAS Ireland IMEX IEEE Computational Intelligence Society
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