Famous Locations That Tell the Story of Dublin

Dublin is a city lined with landmarks. Whether you plan to stay for a day, a weekend or longer, behind every façade in this storied city lies a tale waiting to be told. Cultural, political, and historical significance is bound up within the following famous locations that each play their part in the story of Dublin.

1. Dublin Castle

Originally the site of a Viking settlement, Dublin Castle has always held a prominent place in Ireland’s history. Today, the castle itself is a medley of structures from various eras in the country’s past. Currently, the complex is in use by the Irish government but the structure dates back to 1204. The original medieval structure was built in typical Norman style featuring tall defensive walls and watch towers but today the only remaining piece of this building is the Records Tower. For 700 years it was the site of British administration in Ireland and so, was a key target during the Irish War of Independence before it was officially handed over to Michael Collins on behalf of the Irish Free State in 1922. On a literary note, one of Dublin’s most famous writers, Bram Stoker, spent twelve years working in the castle before writing ‘Dracula’.

2. Trinity College Dublin

Interior view of the Trinity College Library

The oldest university in Ireland and home to the 9th century Book of Kells, Trinity College Dublin has seen everything from famine, rebellion, and civil war to independence. Not only is it a major ranking European university but bears cultural significance as the alma mater of alumni including writers Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde, actress Aisling Bea and director Lenny Abrahamson. The college grounds themselves are an architectural delight and boasts one of the most beautiful libraries in the world which also serves as a legal deposit of Ireland and the United Kingdom. 

3. The Guinness Storehouse

Roasting area GSH

“A celebration of Irish culture, creativity, and entrepreneurship”, The Guinness Storehouse isn’t just a tourist attraction but part of a historic site that dates back to 1759 when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on a former brewery at St. James’ Gate. Not only did the enterprise provide thousands of jobs and go on to become Ireland’s biggest export but Arthur Guinness’ innovative spirit would pave the way for a brewing mecca that flourished during the 18th century in Dublin’s Liberties. The Guinness Storehouse embodies this boldness of spirit by providing a cutting-edge visitor experience while staying true to the story that inspired it all.

4. Garden of Remembrance

This oasis of calm in the heart of the bustling city centre is dedicated to remembering ‘all those who gave lives in the cause of Irish freedom’. Lined with motifs that represent the struggle of the Irish people, this is a unique space for calm reflection that carries layers of symbolic, political, and historic weight. Designed by architect Dáithí Hanly, the garden’s centrepiece is the magnificent statue of the Children of Lir. Drawn from Irish mythology, the story of the children of King Lir being transformed into swans by their stepmother and condemned to wander the earth for 900 years symbolises the emergence of the nation.

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