“Pic of the Week”: August 18, 2017. Temple Bar District, Dublin

01 Temple Bar intro

Ireland is well known for its music, food, Guinness, whiskey, and friendly engaging people, all of which (and more) can be found and enjoyed in Temple Bar District.

Temple Bar is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin. Unlike the areas surrounding it, Temple Bar has preserved its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets.  Many of the pubs in the area are hundreds of years old.

Temple Bar is promoted as Dublin’s cultural quarter, being the location of many Irish cultural institutions, including the Irish Photography Centre, the Ark Children’s Cultural Centre, the Irish Film Institute, the Temple Bar Music Centre, the Gaiety School of Acting, as well as the Irish Stock Exchange …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 21, 2017: Ha’Penny Bridge, Dublin

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A landmark worth looking for while exploring Dublin is the charming Ha’Penny Bridge.  The bridge was built in 1816 and was the first to span the River Liffey.  Before this bridge was built, the only public option Dubliners had for crossing the

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Trim Castle, Boyne Valley, Ireland

04TrimCastle

The pretty town of Trim, a heritage town in County Meath, is home to Ireland’s largest Anglo-Norman castle; the castle and its grounds dominate the town.  The castle rests on the south bank of the River Boyne.  It was constructed over a thirty year period by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter; they were granted this right by King Henry II in 1172 in an attempt to stop the expansionist policies of Richard de Clare (Strongbow).

Construction of the impressive three storied keep at the center of the castle was begun about 1176 on the site of an earlier wooden fortress.   The keep is unique in that it has 20 sides and is cruciform in shape; its walls are 3m …

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St Stephen’s Green, Dublin

09 Dublin, St. Stephen’s Green 10 -2013 (15d)

Some have described St. Stephen’s Green as the heart of Dublin.  I guess that’s true of most good city parks, and it’s certainly true of St. Stephen’s.

We stayed at a small hotel just a block from St. Stephen’s when we visited Dublin and walked through the park several times a day as we went to and from our varying destinations in the city.  It was fall, cool but not cold (although crisp at night), and the leaves were starting to change color and fall to the ground.  As with everything else in Ireland, it was a lush green place.

The park goes back to the 17th century, but its current Victorian creation opened in 1880 for all people in Dublin.  Rectangular …

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Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

Kilmainham

Kilmainham is one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe.  It’s situated in the west part of Dublin, not far from the famed Guinness Storehouse.  There’s a lot of Irish and English history here, including of Irish suppression and rebellion, so it makes for an interesting stop especially if you’re in the city for several days.

The jail opened in 1796 as the Dublin County Jail and as a debtor’s prison.  At that time it was considered a model prison, but by modern standards it was a stark and cold place to be confined.  It was often used by the British as a political prison, especially to incarcerate those who fought for Irish independence, including those of the firing …

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Europe / Ireland

National Museum of Ireland: Archaeology, Dublin

026 Dublin National Museum of Ireland Archaeology — The Tara Brooch, 8th century, Meath Co

Today we’ll pay a visit to the Museum of Ireland: Archaeology, situated on Kildare Street.  The Archaeology Museum is housed in an elegant dome-capped building designed by Thomas Newenham Deane and his son, Thomas Manly Deane, and was opened in 1890.  There are thousands of items on exhibit in the museum (from a collection of more than 2 million artifacts) outlining the unfolding history and treasures of Ireland, a country so very rich in history (less so in treasure).  Despite the extensive collection, the museum is well organized.  It’s easy to navigate and fun to explore.  You’ll need at least a half day for an introductory visit — much longer if you want to linger and thoroughly study the things you’ll …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 14, 2014. Door Knocker, National Museum of Archaeology, Dublin

003 Dublin National Museum of Ireland Archaeology — Door knocker

One of the greatest museums I’ve visited in recent years is Dublin’s National Museum: Archaeology.  What a fascinating collection of artifacts awaits your exploration and study beyond its doors.  As I found out while entering, the doors themselves are quite interesting.  My attention was drawn to this massive, beautifully crafted (if somewhat scary looking) door knocker.  You just don’t see craftsmanship like that anymore.

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Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Ireland

003 Guiness Storehouse Dublin

The Guinness Store attracts hundreds of tourists every day to what’s promoted as “Ireland’s #1 visitor attraction”.  Arthur Guinness began brewing stout at St James Gate Brewery in 1759.  Within a century this complex was the the largest brewery in the world, and it still brews 10 million pints a day (although today the Guinness brewery in Nigeria is larger than its Dublin counterpart, and the Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado is now the largest single site brewery in the world).

The admission fee of about 15 Euros includes a self-guided tour of the old fermentation plant (everything is very well labeled and illustrated) and, when you’re done, a free pint of Guinness.  The old plant was refurbished in the late …

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