Three-masted barque Jeanie Johnston

One day in Dublin


 

 

Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland, is one of the most interesting and beautiful metropolises we know. Under Dublin attractions we have named the most important attractions of the city. Here we show the order in which Dublin's highlights should be visited.

We start our Dublin walking tour in the city center

The historic General Post Office (GPO) on O'Connell Street is our first stop. It was the headquarters of the Irish freedom fighters against the English occupation forces during the Easter Rising in 1916.

Dublin - O'Connell Street


Dublin - O'Connell Street


Dublin - Pediment of the General Post Office


Dublin - Pediment of the General Post Office


South of the GPO, in the direction of the Liffey River, is the statue of Daniel O'Connell. In the first half of the 19th century, the politician advocated equality for Catholics and the separation of Ireland from Great Britain.

The O'Connell statue

The O'Connell statue


In our opinion, the real eye-catcher of O'Connell Street is The Spire, a 121-meter-high metal pillar tapering to the top. It is illuminated in the dark. 

We go on and turn south. After a few steps we reach the O'Connell Bridge. The bridge is special: it is as wide as it is long. It was built at the end of the 18th century. It is one of the most important bridges that cross the Liffey. The river divides the city into a northern and southern part.

Dublin - The Spire


Dublin - The Spire


Dublin - Bachelors Walk and Ha'penny Bridge


Dublin - Bachelors Walk and Ha'penny Bridge 


Temple Bar is located on the south side of the Liffey River. To get there, we follow the Bachelors Walk on the north bank of the river. We would like to know why the river promenade was named after the bachelors. 

We take the Ha'penny Bridge to cross the river. The small, filigree pedestrian bridge got its name from the half penny that was once paid as a bridge toll.

The trendy area of ​​Temple Bar

We leave the Ha'penny Bridge and go straight to the well-kept Merchants Arch. The restaurant is one of many restaurants, bars and pubs in the trendy area of ​​Temple Bar. The area extends between the Liffey and the university district. We forgot to mention: Nightclubs, art galleries and other things also make the district so attractive.

Pub in the Temple Bar district

Pub in the Temple Bar district

It is still too early in the day to succumb to such stimuli. We go to the Bank of Ireland headquarters. Before the big bank moved in, the venerable building was used as a parliament building from 1729.
 

Bank of Ireland headquarters

Bank of Ireland headquarters


We'll spare ourselves St. Andrews Church. Its tower peeps out between two house fronts on the opposite side of the street. We also forego the Irish Whiskey Museum on Grafton Street. It is next to the Tourist Office. We are convinced that for some whiskey lovers the tour would have come to an abrupt end there.

Out and about in the university district

We turn to Trinity College across the street instead. The college was founded in 1592 for Protestant students. The campus is freely accessible. The 30 meter high bell tower known as the Campanile and the Old Library from the 18th century with the Book of Kells are striking. In 2011 this unique manuscript was declared World Document Heritage. The book probably dates from the 8th or 9th century. It contains the four gospels of the New Testament. If you want to see it, you have to be patient, the queues are considerable.

Dublin - queuing for the Book of Kelts


Dublin - queuing for the Book of Kelts


Dublin - Sculpture Sphere within a Sphere


Dublin - Sculpture Sphere within a Sphere 


We like Arnaldo Pomodoro's sculpture Sphere within a Sphere. It is on the campus in front of the Berkeley Library. in the Battery Park in Manhattan / New York we saw a counterpart. It originally stood at the World Trade Center and was buried under rubble and damaged in the terrorist attack on the business center. 

Behind the college is the large College Park and Rugby Ground. We leave the college grounds at the park exit. 


 

Sights in the government district

The campus is followed by the government district with the parliament building, the government buildings and the museums. The multi-storey townhouses in a row are attractive in this environment. All houses have one thing in common: the magnificent Dublin Doors. In the past they said a lot about the status of their owners and residents. Most of the doors are lavishly equipped with porches, windows and sometimes imposing door knockers.

Dublin Doors


Dublin Doors


Merrion Square - Oscar Wilde Monument


Merrion Square - Oscar Wilde Monument 


We walk over Leinster Street and Clare Street to Merrion Square. The square is a spacious, rectangular park with historic street lamps and various sculptures. The statue of Oscar Wilde is striking. It depicts the man of letters in a dandy pose resting on a boulder. The Irish poet lived in the vicinity of Merrion Square. - On the edge of the park we can also see the Irish War Memorial with the eternal flame. 

Opposite Merrion Square is the National Gallery. The building, created in the middle of the 19th century, houses a collection of European and especially Irish paintings.

National Gallery

National Gallery


The Natural History Museum is attached to the National Gallery. Visitors can choose their favorites from the abundance of more than 10.000 prepared animals.

The Government Buildings follow. We notice the Ministry of Finance and especially the Prime Minister's seat. The Japanese Prime Minister visits Ireland on the same day as us. Due to the associated security measures, the site is closed to visitors.

Dublin - Government Buildings - main entrance


Dublin - Government Buildings - main entrance


Dublin - Leinster House - Parliament House


Dublin - Leinster House - Parliament House 


Next door is Leinster House. It was originally the summer residence of the Earl of Kildare. The building has been the seat of the Irish Parliament since 1922. 

Leinster House is framed by the National Museum and the National Library of Ireland. Over two million objects related to Ireland's history have been brought together in the National Museum.

Another park and Dublin's shopping street

We cross over to St. Stephens's Green Park, which is adjacent to the government district. In the entrance area on Merrion Row, the harrowing Great Famine Memorial commemorates the famine and misery of the people of Ireland in the mid-19th century. Other than that, the park is beautiful. We see old trees, two ponds, an extensive network of paths, all sorts of water creatures and hundreds of people relaxing on the lawns.

Dublin - St. Stephen's Green


Dublin - St. Stephen's Green


Dublin - Fusiliers Arch


Dublin - Fusiliers Arch 


We leave the park through the mighty Fusiliers' Arch and cross over to Grafton Street. It is Dublin's most famous shopping street. The Disney Logoshop, street artists, Bewley's Oriental Cafés and the noble Brown Thomas department store with the stylish doorman offer us a lot of variety.

Dublin - Grafton Street
Dublin - Grafton Street - street art
Dublin - Grafton Street - Bewley's Café
Dublin - Grafton Street - Brown Thomas Department Store


Then we stand in front of the sculpture of Molly Malone. Judging by the plastic, Molly Malone was a lovely 17th century young woman. During the day she sold fish; her body at night. A popular Irish song is dedicated to her.

The Molly Malone sculpture

The Molly Malone sculpture


Dublin Castle and three cathedrals

Dublin Castle is our next destination. To get there, we go to the Bank of Ireland again and from there through Dame Street to Dublin City Hall.

Dublin Castle is somewhat hidden behind the beautiful, representative building. Anglo-Normans first built a castle, of which only the huge round tower remains. Most of the rest of the palace buildings date from the 17th century. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to enter the area due to an official event. We can only admire parts of the imposing complex from the outside.

Portal at Dublin Castle

Portal at Dublin Castle


City Hall is followed by Christ Church Cathedral. The originally Roman Catholic cathedral now belongs to the Church of Ireland. The current building was built in the 16th century.


 

Dublin - Christ Church Cathedral


Dublin - Christ Church Cathedral


Gravestones next to St Patrick's Cathedral


Gravestones next to St Patrick's Cathedral 


We walk another 500 meters to the neighboring St. Patrick's Cathedral. This cathedral also belongs to the Church of Ireland. However, not it, but the smaller Christ Church Cathedral is the seat of the archbishop. At 91 meters long, St. Patrick's is Ireland's largest church.  

In the shadow of St. Patrick's Cathedral lies the inconspicuous Marsh's Library. It was opened in 1707 and named after its founder, Bishop Marsh. It is the oldest public library in Ireland.

On the way back we can't avoid a quick stroll through St. Patrick's Park. The green area, which was well attended at this time, is adjacent to the cathedral.

St Patrick's Park

St Patrick's Park


It's time to grab a bite to eat in a pub. We do it like the employees of the surrounding office buildings: we content ourselves with a warm sandwich and a dark draft beer. Delicious!

After lunch we pass the unexpectedly bombastic administration building of the Dublin City Council and walk over to the Four Courts on the Liffey River. The building complex was originally the seat of the four highest Irish courts. Today only three courts reside in the venerable building.

Dublin - Four Courts - the supreme courts


Dublin - Four Courts - the supreme courts


Dublin - Four Courts - gable inscription


Dublin - Four Courts - gable inscription 


Docklands - our last destination of the day

We have now seen many historical buildings in Dublin that day. Things are more modern in the renovated and redesigned harbor district called Docklands. There, bold and lavishly dimensioned skyscrapers soar into the sky, and grand bridges created by star architects span the Liffey.

To get there we take the tram near the Four Courts. It costs us 1,60 euros per person. We assume that for that price we could have gone who knows where. Public transport works great in Dublin. We leave the tram at the Busáras stop. On the way to the Docklands we see the magnificent Customs House at Custom Quay. The former customs office, built at the end of the 18th century, is now the headquarters of the Irish Ministry of the Environment.

Custom house

Custom house


We reach the Docklands: what was once a harbor district is now a trendy address. Office buildings were built on both sides of the Liffey in the port district. Financial institutions in particular have acquired representative and large-scale commercial buildings there. In this quarter, the Liffey is spanned by two modern, futuristic bridges. One is the Sean O'Casey Bridge. It was named after the Irish playwright and political activist Sean O'Casey. The second, the Samuel Beckett Bridge, is very special because of its construction. Its pylon is 48 meters high.

Sean O'Casey Bridge
Samuel Beckett Bridge
 

But before we get to the bridges, we see Dublin's second Great Famine Memorial. It's on Customs House Quay. The hunger figures immortalized in the memorial remind us again of the great famine caused by potato rot in the years 1845-1849. The replica of Jeanie Johnston is within sight of the monument. The original Jeanie Johnston, a three-masted barque, was one of the famine ships that brought millions of emigrants, especially to the New World, during the famine. The original Jeanie Johnston is reported to have made 16 trips. It brought around 2.500 people to America.

Famine Monument on Customs House Quay
Barque Jeanie Johnston
 

summary

In almost seven hours we saw important sights of Dublin on our tour. We take a taxi to Dublin's Cruise Terminal. The capital of the Republic of Ireland will be fondly remembered.

Update October 2020