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A friend once told me that good public art should capture your attention and “get you in the gut”. That’s certainly true of the Famine statues on Custom House Quay in Dublin’s modernized Docklands. These gaunt figures commemorate the Great Potato Famine of the mid-19th century (1845 – 1847), referred to as An Gorta Mór –“the great hunger”. The location is historic as it was the site of the first voyage of the famine exodus on the ship Perseverance. The work is entitled “Famine” and was presented to the People of Ireland by Norma Smurfit in 1997.
During the great famine approximately 1 million Irish people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland, reducing the island’s population by about 25%. …
A fun and recommended activity for those visiting Dublin is to do the Irish Musical Pub Crawl. Unlike the name implies, the consumption of alcohol is optional and everyone actually walked between the venues — no crawling observed! But it is an opportunity to try a pint of Guinness (not a brew I’m very fond of, but better here than when I’ve tried it elsewhere probably due to the freshness of the product). You do get to visit a total of 3 pubs, two in the Temple Bar area, with about a 30-40 minute set at each of the three places.
The tour features two professional Irish musicians, generally playing traditional songs on a guitar and violin. In …
Merrion Square is a beautiful garden square in south central Dublin. It was laid out after 1762 and was largely completed by the 19th century. It’s a wonderful place to visit when in Dublin, for a casual stroll or picnic or to relax in a bench and do some people-watching.
People like to linger here, but the most popular resident of the park is a colorful statue of Oscar Wilde. Commissioned by the Guinness Ireland Group, it was sculpted by Danny Osborne and was unveiled about 20 years ago.
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854 – 1900) was an Irish writer and poet who resided across the street from the park. Today he is best remembered for his novel The Picture of …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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.