On Dame Street, south of the River Liffey in the heart of Dublin, stands the mighty architectural achievement that is Dublin Castle, parts of which date back to 1200. Over the centuries Dublin Castle has been a fortress and treasury, a royal palace and a prison. Prior to Irish independence in the 1920s, it was also the centre of British rule in Ireland. Today, Dublin Castle is a government building and significant historic emblem.
While most of the building dates to the 1800s, its ancient heritage is still evident in the ancient Record Tower. This sole surviving element of Dublin Castle’s medieval origins is a magnificent stone stalwart. It is the perfect complement to the adjoining 19th century Chapel Royal, built in the Gothic Revival style.
Today, the castle is primarily used for official Irish government engagements, but its opulent State Rooms are accessible to the general public via guided tour. Open all year round, including bank holidays (but not Christmas and New Year) the castle has a wonderful craft shop and heritage centre. It also has its own restaurant, meaning you can absorb the historic bustle of Dublin as you tuck in to some tasty local cuisine.
Surrounded by excellent eateries and a number of theatres, Dublin Castle is served by nearly a dozen bus services. As such, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t soak up the area’s eclectic heritage by visiting this gem at the heart of the Irish capital.