Whether you are visiting Dublin for a long holiday or just a short break, a trip to Dublin Castle should be right at the top of your itinerary. Dublin Castle has been a focal point for many of the forces that drove Irish history for over 800 years making it one of the most historically importand attractions that Dublin has to offer. It is also a beautiful piece of architecture.
The first concerted invaders of Ireland were the Vikings and they began construction of their Dublin stronghold on the present site of Dublin Castle, completing it by the 930s. Later invasions by the Norman English, in the 11 and 1200s would see the site further fortified and become established as the centre of power and government in Ireland. As English rule in Ireland intensified, the Castle would come to house the Lord Viceroy of Ireland for many centuries. The title Lord Viceroy represented the Monarchs chief representative in Ireland. Dublin Castle would remain the centre of English (and then British) Government until Ireland’s break from British rule in the early 20th century. As Dublin Castle’s political importance grew over many centuries, the splendour of it’s surroundings and the glories of its architecture grew in equal measure. Dublin Castle, of course no longer represents British rule, but what it does represent is the jewel in the crown of Irish holiday attractions.
Because English rule in Ireland was challenged so often the castle is heavily fortified and has many sections that catered for all the needs of the aristocratic and often secluded residents including: a chapel; state rooms; courtyard; it is also encompasses a field – which is now used for music festivals and other cultural events.
Whilst old, the gated entrance to Dublin Castle is fairly modern and unassuming, due to now being connected on either side to modern buildings some holiday makers actually find the entrance hard to find!. However, once inside the courtyard, at the front of the castle, you are quickly made aware that you are about to enter one of Ireland’s most special attractions.
The hugely impressive building that forms a square around the courtyard look impressive and imposing. However, they are merely a pre-cursor to the splendour of the interiors that await you. The oldest remaining section of the Castle is the Record Tower, this dates al the way back to 1228. This building is one of the oldet buildings in Dublin and will be one of the more memorable sights of your holidays.
In the past the hugely impressive State Rooms were used to awe local Irish leaders, now the Irish use them to impress visitors from all over the world and visiting dignitaries attending state functions.