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Dublin

27 Dec, 2008

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A city rich in history, the capital of Ireland is over a millennium old. It has perfectly preserved mementos and artifacts dating back from a time when Ireland flourished and developed undisturbed by the Roman Empire, who colonized its Briton neighbors. Get to know what places are worthy of visiting when spending a vacation in Dublin.

The Guinness Storehouse

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The Guinness Storehouse is one of the most visited attractions in the city of Ireland. This means that you should check it out yourself. If others have done it before you, then you should do the same. Guinness is home to the world-renowned Guinness black beer.

The Guinness Storehouse is a journey through the history of the beer – from its introduction to the company’s latest achievements. Every tour of the Guinness Storehouse takes you through the entire seven floors of the storehouse. Learn everything you need to know about the beer: the ingredients, how the ingredients are used in the manufacturing process, and the final product which the world knows and loves. Learn about the birth of the Guinness beer 250 years ago.

The trip starts at the central glass atrium – designed in the shape of a Guinness pint – and ends at the Gravity(R) bar where you get a free pint of black Beer.

The Dublin Castle

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One of the oldest structures in the heart of Ireland, the Dublin Castle is over 800 years old. It was built in 1208 and finished in 1220. When England invaded and occupied Ireland, the castle was the capital of English rule in Dublin. It was ultimately taken over by the Irish Free State in 1922.

The castle is divided into two ranges: the north and the south ranges. The south is open for public viewing. The attractions you can find in the south range of the Dublin castle include:

• The state apartments. This is where functions hosting state dignitaries are held. Originally, the apartments were intended as living quarters of the viceregal court.

• The Undercroft, where you can find a portion of an ancient Viking fortress.

• Chapel Royal.

You can also take a look at Norman architecture through the 13th century record tower, which is also open for public viewing.

Dublinia

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To further your newfound knowledge of Dublinian history, it is of prime importance to visit the exhibit of Dublinia. It is located just across Christ Church. In here, you can follow through the rich history of Dublin from when the Anglo-Normans first landed in 1170 until the time the monasteries were closed in the 1540s.

Dublinia is a building that is in itself historic. Its architecture is an example of Neo-Gothic Victorian architecture. This was formerly the Synod Hall of the Church of England. The Medieval Trust has since acquired ownership of the building in the later part of the 80’s and turned into a heritage center. The building is in the middle of being preserved and reconstructed.

The Dublinia gives you access to exhibits showcasing the life of Dublin: the lifestyle of its Viking settlers, and Dublin during the medieval times. Exhibits include:

• Large scale model of how Dublin looked like during the 16th century.

• Viking World, a vivid reconstruction of the life of Vikings. Vikings had occupied Ireland for a considerable amount of time. The exhibit includes reconstructions of the insides of a Viking warship, presentations that give a look into the lifestyle of the Viking invaders and what’s life like as a slave to these invaders.

• St. Michael’s Tower. This is a circa seventh century viewing tower that was once a part of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel. The church used to be located at where the Dublinia is located now. Attractions in this exhibit include access to the top of the viewing tower where you can get a panoramic view of the city of Dublin.

Kilmainham Gaol

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Known as the most famous jail in Ireland, the Kilmainham Jail was closed down in 1924 after being in use for almost 200 years. It was first built in 1792. The jail is noted for being the prison home of many rebels and dissidents all throughout the history of Ireland. These included members of the Society of United Irishmen, Young Irelanders, Fenians, and many others.

Find out about the history and the political motivations behind the establishment of this prison. A guided tour is offered that will take you inside and around the insides of the abandoned gaol. If you have a physical handicap it is best to book ahead and inform the tour staff about your condition so they can arrange special treatment.

Because it is such a large venue to explore, the tour guide company handling the tours of the prison requires a group made up of at least 50 persons. Also because of it size, there are no self-exploration allowed; only guided tours can get you around the jail.

Kilmainham Jail is considered one of the most important relics of Ireland’s history, as it is a symbol of the Irish effort of self-governance from the English who had dominated Irish politics for almost 200 years. In fact, the jail was built four years prior to the assimilation of Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Coincidentally, it was also closed two years after south Ireland managed to gain independence from Britain.

Trinity College Dublin

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Education was of paramount importance even during ancient and contemporary times, and it was in Trinity College Dublin that the brilliant minds of the Dublinian elite were schooled. It was at first exclusive to the higher classes of Irish society as intended by Queen Elizabeth in 1592. Nowadays, however, everyone can now go to school in the Trinity College.

The College is open for public viewing as well. You can go inside and look at preserved old books in the school’s Old Library. These books include the famous Book of Kells, a book of extravagant and complex ornamentation and which contains the four books of the four Gospels of the New Testament. It is an important national treasure, a testimonial to Western calligraphy and insular illumination.

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