Just off the River Liffey, a short walk through the vibrant streets of Temple Bar, stands the soaring and majestic Dublin Castle.
Built in 1204, and completed around the 1230s, Dublin Castle was erected upon the orders of King John of England after the 1169 Norman Invasion of Ireland.
For hundreds of years, the Castle stood as the United Kingdom’s outpost in Ireland—from which the UK would run its governmental administrative arm in Ireland and where the Monarchy would visit to ensure the land was running smoothly.
This was the case until December 1921 (after the 1916 Easter Rising), when the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed and Dublin Castle was thereafter run by the Provisional Government under Michael Collins—the Chairman of the then-newly formed Provisional Government, and central figure in the fight for Irish Independence.
Over the centuries, the Castle has withstood numerous fires and its fair share of scandal. Of fires, one notable instance occurred in 1684 which caused the need for the Castle to be almost entirely rebuilt from its original Norman, Medieval, style to that of the Georgian era, which stands today.
Prominent rooms include St. Patrick’s Hall, the State Dining Room, and the State Corridor (of numerous others located with the State Apartments, all accessible via tour).
Make sure not to miss St. Patrick’s Hall upon your visit. This is touted as one of the most decorative interiors in all the country of Ireland and is of art historical significance.
The Hall’s ceiling was painted by the renowned Italian Neoclassical artist Vincenzo Valdre (c. 1742 – 1814) in c. 1790, and is separated into thee panels which illustrate:
The Coronation of King George III
Ireland’s Introduction to Christianity by St. Patrick (after whom the room was named)
The submission of the Irish Chieftains to King Henry II
Today, St. Patrick’s Hall is used for Presidential Inaugurations (most recently that of 9th and current President Michael Higgins in 2011) and was the site of the State Dinner hosted by Ireland’s 8th President, Mary McAleese, to welcome Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Check out the Castle during your trip to Dublin to learn even more about its history and to explore its grand State Apartments in person! You can visit during its operational hours and explore with either a guided or self-guided tour.
Bonus: if you live in Dublin, or will be in the city for an extended stay, the State Apartments at Dublin Castle can also be rented out for Conferences, Dinner Parties, and other events.