To be seen locally


Trinity College, Dublin.

There are several noteworthy attractions very close to us here in the historic "Liberties" area of Dublin. Coming from Trinity College direction and going towards the Guinness Storehouse, perhaps the best known of these is Dublin Castle ( ''around 930 AD, a Danish Viking fortress stood on this site and part of the town defences is on view at the Undercroft, where the facing stone revetments offered protection against the River Poddle. Their settlement of Dyflinn -- a corruption of Dubhlinn ... the Black Pool -- quickly became the main Viking military base and trading centre of slaves and silver, in Ireland.The Norwegian and sometimes Danish rulers had control of the Irish Sea and forayed deep into the centre of Ireland, where monasteries, with their precious ornaments and vessels, were easy targets. Eventually their power was broken, when they were heavily defeated by an Irish army under the command of King Brian Boru, at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. Neither the Irish nor the Vikings could withstand the Norman invasion of 1169.  The Vikings were ejected and the Normans became the next occupiers of Dublin. They strengthened and expanded the existing town walls. It is assumed that their first forticication was an earth and wooden, motte and bailey, on the site of the present day Dublin Castle.  There is archaeological evidence of a wooden and stone castle there in the 1170's... The south-east Record Tower is the last intact medieval tower, not only of Dublin Castle but also of Dublin itself.  It functioned as a high security prison and held native Irish hostages and priests in Tudor times...'') The Castle can be found if you take the fourth turn on your left walking away from Trinity College.

In the Castle complex you can also see the most ancient collection of manuscripts of the Koran and the Sacred Scriptures in the world  in the Chester Beatty Library. Described by the Lonely Planet as 'not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe', The Chester Beatty Library is an art museum and library which houses the great collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and some decorative arts assembled by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty ( 1875 - 1968). In its diversity, the collection captures much of the richness of human creative expression from about 2700 BC to the present day...and guess what ?  ADMISSION IS FREE !

Continue on to the City Hall (next door on Lord Edward Street)--- erected between 1769 and 1779, and formerly the Royal Exchange. It is a square building in Corinthian style, with three fronts of Portland stone.  Since 1852, however it has been the centre of the municipal government. The interior is designed as a circle within a square, with fluted columns supporting a dome shaped roof over the central hall. The building contains many items of interest, including 102 royal charters and the mace and sword of the city.

034 Christchurch Cathedral

From here its only a short walk to Christchurch Cathedral ( Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity) founded around 1030, the crypt here is the second largest Norman crypt in Britain or Ireland and well worth a visit. Running down the city side of the Cathedral is Winetavern Street, site of the first public performance of Handel's Messiah. Also close by on Werburgh Street, across from Leo Burdock's chip-shop is the ancient St.Werburgh's church which contains a fine example of a Gothic pulpit originally designed by Richard Johnston for the Chapel Royal in Dublin Castle.

As you leave Christchurch, crossing the road to Jurys Inn and turning left, you will come upon St. Patrick's Cathedral -- early 13th century -- within a five minute walk. This beautiful building is adjacent to one of the loveliest little public parks in Dublin city. Just round the back of St.Patricks  -- first left as you walk past the cathedral from Christchurch direction -- is one of the few 18th Century buildings in Dublin still being used for its original purpose. Marsh's Library built in 1701 by Archbishop Narcissius Marsh it was the first public library in Ireland. The library was designed by Sir William Robinson the Surveyor General of Ireland.  Many of the collections in the library are still kept on the shelves allocated them by Marsh and by Elias Bouhereau, the first librarian, when the library opened.The interior with its beautiful dark oak bookcases remains unchanged since it was built three hundred years ago... You might be interested to know that there are four (4) main collections, consisting of 25,000 books relating to the 16th, 17th and the early part of the 18th century.  These are;

* 80 incunabula books printed before 1501...* 430 books printed in Italy before 1600...   1,200 books printed in England before 1640... * 5,000 books printed in England  before 1700. There is, as one might expect, a large collection of liturgical works, missals, breviaries, books of hours of the Sarum use, bibles printed in almost every language.  A separate room is reserved for books and periodicals relating to Irish history printed in the last hundred years...

Having visited here, if you backtrack to Christchurch again and turn left, you will see St. Audeon's Catholic Church across the road. This is home to the Polish community in Dublin. Right next door to it is one of the oldest churches in the city ... also known as St. Audeons. (Church of Ireland.) ( 11th Century).  The visitors' centre here is terrific and there is no admission fee ... it is free ! A remaining section of the medieval City Walls can be seen nearby across the road to the left. As you leave here and turn right your eyes are drawn immediately to the imposing tower of "John's Lane Church" ' a poem in stone'. This is another free tourist attraction.                                                                                                               


Also to be found in this locality are;  St.Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church, Francis Street -- worth a visit to see the beautiful ceiling -( Thursday morning before 10.00am is best);  National College of Art & Design, ( next door to John's Lane ); and some five minutes walk away, St.Catherine's Church in Thomas Street ... outside of which the Patriot Robert Emmett was hanged. The Guinness Storehouse of course and The Irish Museum of Modern Art and then Kilmainham Gaol ( both are just a short 10 minute walk from here ). The Gaol has had a major impact on the course of Irish History...


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