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. If you fail to include a trip to this castle during your visit, you will miss out on one of the most beautiful and historically rich attractions that Dublin has to offer.
For those who like to embrace the history of the city they are touring, Dublin Castle truly does represent the best opportunity to learn and gain an understanding.
The first concerted invaders of Ireland were the Vikings and they began construction of their Dublin stronghold on the present site of Dublin Castle. Later invasions by the Norman English, in the 1100s 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 Monarch’s 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 its 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 Dublin Castle of course no longer represents British rule, but what it does represent is the jewel in the crown of Irish tourist attractions.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;
- It also encompasses a field which is now used for music festivals and other cultural events.
Whilst old, the gated entrance to Dublin Castle is still modern and unassuming, now due to be connected on either side to modern buildings as some tourists 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 incredible building that forms a square around the courtyard looks impressive and imposing. However, this is merely a pre-cursor to the splendour of the interiors awaiting you. The oldest remaining section of Dublin Castle is the Record Tower, which dates all the way back to 1228. This building is one of the oldest buildings in Dublin and will be one of the more memorable sights you see when touring Dublin’s Medieval Quarter.
The State Rooms are also incredibly impressive. In the past they were used by ruling factions to awe local Irish leaders. Now, however, the people of Dublin use them to impress visitors from all over the world. The State Rooms are also now used for important state functions.