Overview: Georgian Architecture has been a Dublin icon ever since the five storey terraces were built for the aristocracy. This tour passes the ... more »
Overview: Georgian Architecture has been a Dublin icon ever since the five storey terraces were built for the aristocracy. This tour passes the ... more »best of the colourful, ornate doorways, which housed the best of the colourful ornate artists, and now the best of the colourful, ornate art. less «
While the distance between stops isn't long, there's a lot of walking to be done inside the galleries and museums, so wear decent... more » shoes.
While all entries are free, donations are appreciated, and the cafes they house sell delicious food and drink, so some change will be needed. less «
The Douglas Hyde Gallery, founded in 1978, became independent of Trinity College in 1984, and for some years afterwards was the only publicly-funded gallery in Ireland that regularly exhibited contemporary art. Its exhibition programme is wide-ranging and eclectic, including shows by major international artists as well as by emerging Irish artists... More. In recent years it has focused on marginalised artists. It has also become increasingly well known for its programme of musical events, with performances that relate directly to exhibitions.
Douglas Hyde was a scholar of the Irish language, founding the Gaelic League, and the first President of Ireland, from 1938 to 1945. Hyde, with his handlebar mustache and warm personality, was a popular president. United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt called President Hyde a "fine and scholarly old gentleman", while President Hyde and King George V corresponded about stamp collecting.
Monday - Friday, 11am-6pm
The National Gallery of Ireland houses the national collection of Irish and European art. The Gallery has an extensive, representative collection of Irish painting and is also notable for its Italian Baroque and Dutch masters paintings.
Highlights include the National Portrait Collection, the Yeats collection, and the many paintings, sculptures,... More prints and drawings. "A Convent Garden, Brittany," c. 1913 by William John Leech is particularly beautiful, and "Hellelil and Hildebrand, the Meeting on the Turret Stairs" by Frederic William Burton was recently voted Ireland’s favourite painting. And the gift shop is one of the loveliest shopping experiences in Dublin.
The Gallery was founded in 1854 and opened to the public 10 years later, with just 125 paintings to display. At around this time, Henry Vaughan left 31 watercolours by J.M.W. Turner with the requirement that they could only be exhibited in January, this to protect them from sunlight. While this is no longer necessary, the Gallery continues to restrict viewing to January, so the exhibition is something of an occasion.
Another substantial bequest came with the sinking of the Lusitania, which resulted in the untimely death of Hugh Lane (1875–1915), who had been director of the Gallery. He left a large collection of pictures along with part of his residual estate. George Bernard Shaw also made a substantial bequest, leaving the Gallery a third of royalties of his estate in gratitude for the time he spent there as a youth.
Admission is free.
The Gallery is open 361 days of the year; it is closed 24-26 December, and on Good Friday.
Public Holidays 10am-5.30pm
Shutdown of the galleries begins 15 minutes before closing time.
Easter Holiday Opening Hours:
Holy Thursday 9.30am-5.30pm
Good Friday closed
On your way to Merrion Square, it’s well worth a quick detour left at the O’Callaghan Mont Clare Hotel, to the Sweny Chemist. You won’t miss it, Joyce will greet you there.
Merrion Square, a Georgian square, was laid out after 1762 and was largely complete by the beginning of the 19th century. It is one of the city's finest surviving squares,... More but only just. By the 1930s, plans were discussed to demolish all of Merrion Square on the basis that the houses were "old fashioned" and "un-national." They were only saved by Adolf Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939 and a general lack of capital and investment; the plans were put on hold in 1939 and forgotten about by 1945.
Its residents past and present, are well worth investigating, and commemorated with plaques on their former dwellings.
• Daniel O’Connell, Member of Parliament, a former Lord Mayor, and still a hero, known as both “The Emancipator” and “The Liberator” of Catholic Ireland.
• Erwin Schrödinger, one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, Nobel Prize in Physics recipient, and the man who proposed the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment.
• John Lighton Synge, nephew of playwright John Millington Synge and scourge of math textbook authors.
• Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the leading ghost-story writer of the 19th century and was central to the development of the genre in the Victorian era. Three of his best known works are "Uncle Silas," "Carmilla" and "The House by the Churchyard."
• AE Russell, “poet, mystic, painter, co-operator.”
• William Butler Yeats, poet, politician and playwright. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, founder of the Abbey Theatre, and Nobel Laureate.
Every Sunday, Merrion Square Open Air Art Gallery takes place from 10 am to 6:30 pm. Almost 200 artists sell their own work, hanging their paintings on the railings on three sides (West, North and East) of Merrion Square.Less
Enter Merrion Square at the National Memorial to members of the defence forces who died in the service of the state. The flame burns in their perpetual memory. Within the walls of the park, are busts of eminent Irish patriots, some more recent than others, The Throne for Dermot Morgan being one of the more recent additions. It also houses a... More collection of old Dublin gas lamps that have been restored and now provide examples of public lighting from the last 100 years. The cobblestones that edge the paths are relics of old Dublin.
A grass mound, mainly used by children to race down, was once an air raid shelter. Constructed 1939-1945, it was intended to provide overnight accommodation for 1,100 people. The park now houses birds, squirrels, and tranquility in the heart of the city centre.
Opening time: 10am
Closing time varies:
December – January at 5pm
February at 5.30pm
March at 6.30pm/7.30pm depending on which side of the daylight savings date it falls
April at 8.30pm
May at 9.30pm
June – July at 10pm
August at 9.30pm
September at 8.30pm
October at 7.30pm/6.30pm, again, time depends on daylight savings
November at 5.30pm
A park warden will usually give notice.Less
Writer Oscar Wilde grew up this house, living at 1 Merrion Square from 1855 to 1876.
Here's Wilde's obitutary from the Guardian Newspaper on December 1, 1900.
Mr. Oscar Wilde died at Paris last Friday, in his forty-fifth year. He was the son of Sir William Wilde, an eminent Irish surgeon, and his mother was a woman of considerable literary... More ability.
In 1874 he entered Magdalen College, Oxford, where he won his two "firsts" in the Classical School, and also the Newdigate Prize for English verse. But the bent of his mind was not academic or scholarly. Even while he was at Oxford he was the most prominent leader in the new "aesthetic" movement, as it was called.
The aestheticism of the day was largely a misreading of the spirit of Hellenism. The modern world is apt to draw a false antithesis between the good and the pleasant, and to make hard and fast distinctions between the moral, intellectual, and physical sides of life. The Greek knew nothing of this antithesis. Moral and physical excellence were alike "beautiful;" moral and physical defects were alike "ugly." Hence the philosophic basis of the new aesthetic movement, or cult of the beautiful.
The beautiful in life was the only thing worth pursuing; ugliness was the thing to be avoided. Of course there is a degree of truth in all this. But the fallacy of the aesthetic doctrine of that day, as many understood it, was that it narrowed down the comprehensive Greek ideal of beauty to mere physical or material beauty. The extravagances of the aesthetic school are almost forgotten now, but its warped and one-sided philosophy was not born with Wilde, nor has it died with him.
He had great literary gifts. His romance, "The Picture of Dorian Gray," which embodies his philosophy of aestheticism, is a book of unmistakable tragic power. In 1892 he appeared as a writer of comedies with "Lady Windermere's Fan." This was followed by "A Woman of No Importance" and "An Ideal Husband." His plays were witty, paradoxical and perverse. There was little variety in the characterisation, but the work in other respects was technically admirable. In 1895 Wilde disappeared from public life. Two years later, on his release from prison, he published The Ballad of Reading Gaol, perhaps his most powerful piece of writing. Wilde's life is one of the saddest in English literature. His abilities were sufficient to win him an honoured place as a man of letters, but they struggled in vain against his lack of character.
"The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast."Less
The building is a ‘cabinet-style’ museum designed to showcase a wide-ranging and comprehensive zoological collection. It has changed little in more than a century.
The Irish Room on the ground floor is dedicated to animals native to Ireland, featuring a variety of mammals, birds, fish, and insects. The giant Irish deer skeletons found at the... More entrance of the Museum sets the tone of the awe inspiring collection. One of the skeletons has an antler span of 3.5 metres.
On the upper floor, you will find an elephant, polar bear, lions, along with an array of monkeys, apes and lemurs, which make up the Mammals of the World collection. The room includes a polar bear shot in 1851 by Lieutenant FL McClintock and a Grant’s zebra, shot on the southern Masai reserve by Major HHR White in 1933. There are bat skeletons, basking sharks, and a humpback whale that was stranded in Sligo in 1893. All preserved for generations to see.
In fact, there are 10,000 specimens on exhibition in the “Dead Zoo.” Very little has changed since the museum opened in 1857. It really is a “museum of a museum” and possibly the most charming location in Dublin.
A Reading Room provides an opportunity for visitors to sit and read more about the many animals which are on display and other topics related to Natural History. Research visitors are always welcome to the collections in storage. Scientists, artists and historians are among the visitors actively encouraged to contact staff for access.
Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm
Closed Mondays (including Bank Holidays), Christmas Day and Good Friday
Admission is free.
Tel: 01 6777444Less
The building that was to become Government Buildings was the last major public building built under British rule in Ireland. The foundation stone for the building was laid by King Edward VII in 1904. It was built on the site of a row of Georgian houses that were being controversially demolished one by one as the new building was erected.
... More Saturday tours at 10.30, 11.30, 12.30 and 13.30.
Average Length of Visit: 40 minutes
Free tickets can be collected on the day from the National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2, beginning at 10am.Less
Home to some of the best Irish artists and their works, the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) originated in the late 1700s when artists from the Society of Artists in Ireland petitioned for the opportunity to exhibit their art annually. Housed in Lower Abbey Street until it was destroyed during the Easter Rising, the RHA was without permanent premises... More until 1939, when it acquired the house and gardens of Ely Place. Here the Academy mounts the annual exhibition, an open submission art show which it has organized since 1826, the longest running open submission exhibition in the country.
Monday-Tuesday 11am – 5pm
Wednesday-Saturday 11am – 7pm
7-9 Merrion Row is best explained by the award winning architects:
The fundamental concept of building is rooted in its immediate urban context, relating to St. Stephen’s Green, the Huguenot Cemetery and the 18th century Georgian streetscape. The street line is maintained by a crafted bronze railing and gate and by cantilevering the grand... More staircase space overhead. A set-back is used to form an area which gives light to the lower ground level and allows the formation of an entrance threshold.
The façade was developed to form a deep stone and glass screen. Windows integrate ‘nostrils’ which breaths in natural air, which is distributed into office spaces and is drawn into the six chimneys placed centrally in the plan. These chimneys continue the tradition of the particular roofscape of Dublin.
The main staircase, positioned at the front of the building, acts as a screen to the south sun and as an acoustic buffer to city traffic. Circulation is positioned at the perimeter of the building, with offices placed away from the facades.
The architectural challenge for The Billets – a long, two-storey ‘mews’ type building - was to incorporate new accommodation, within the character of the existing spaces.Less
The Huguenot Cemetery is a small cemetery dating from 1693 located near St. Stephen's Green, beside the Shelbourne Hotel.
The Huguenots were French Protestants expelled from France in the 17th century and encouraged to locate in Ireland due to an Act passed by the (then) Irish Parliament. They were skilled craftsmen who worked and worshiped in... More Dublin, particularly in the Liberties area.
Their influence continues; D'Olier Street was named after Jeremiah D'Olier, Dublin High Sherriff in 1788 while Mercer Street and French Street show Huguenot influence. Ireland's most historic bank was founded by a Huguenot, David Digges La Touche and Nathaniel Kane in 1713; Digges La Touche fought for William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne.Less
The formerly named Museum of Science and Art, Dublin was founded on 14 August 1877 by an Act of Parliament.
The Archaeology section on Kildare Street has displays on prehistoric Ireland, including early work in gold, church treasures and the Viking and medieval periods. There are special displays of items from Egypt, Cyprus and the Roman world, ... Moreand special exhibitions are regularly mounted.
Generations of school children have traipsed through the museum, whose most famous piece is arguably the Tara Brooch.
Created in about 700 AD, the seven-inch long brooch is made primarily of silver-gilt and is embellished with intricate abstract decoration including interlace on both front and back. It was made in many pieces, with much of the decoration on small "trays" or panels which were then fixed into place. When it was found, only one panel of decoration was missing. Several more have now disappeared, apparently before 1872, when it entered the collection of the Royal Irish Academy. Found in Bettystown, it was jeweller George Waterhouse who named it the Tara Brooch, after the Hill of Tara, the seat of the High Kings of Ireland, to make it more appealing.
Many of the pieces were found in the 19th century by peasants or agricultural labourers, when population expansion led to cultivation of land which had not been touched since the Middle Ages.
Closed Mondays, Christmas Day and Good Friday
The library is a reference library and, as such, does not lend. It has a large quantity of Irish and Irish-related material which can be consulted without charge; this includes books, maps, manuscripts, music, newspapers, periodicals and photographs. Included in their collections is material issued by private as well as government publishers.
The... More National Library of Ireland houses the personal notes and workbooks of the eminent writers:
James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Seamus Heaney, President Michael D. Higgins, Colm Tóibín and Roddy Doyle.
The building, especially the reading room is quite beautiful, and the Yeats exhibition is very moving. Here, you can hear "What Then" read by Seamus Heaney, "An Irish Airman" by Theo Dorgan, "When You Are Old" by Ulick O'Connor, cast with images that inspired this poetry.
Guided tour of the Yeats exhibition
Wednesdays at 1pm
Saturdays at 3pm
Tour of the National Library of Ireland
Saturdays at 2.30pm
Booking not required.
Main Reading Room, Kildare Street
Monday - Wednesday: 9.30am - 7.45pm
Thursday & Friday: 9.30am - 4.45pm
Saturday: 9.30am - 12.45pm
Main Library Exhibitions
Including "Yeats: the life and works of W.B. Yeats"
Monday - Wednesday: 9.30am - 7.45pm
Thursday & Friday: 9.30am - 4.45pm
Saturday: 9.30am - 4.30pm