Things to see and do - Dublin
In Dublin's Fair City :
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In Dublin's Fair City
In Dublin's Fair CityPedestrian, 12 km, 3 days
A few tips and suggested visitor attractions in a city famous for its history, literary heritage and, of course, its 'craik'!Customise this route and add it to My travel book
The Writers' Museum is devoted to the works of Irish writers, particularly those from Dublin, who have won no fewer than 4 Nobel prizes (Yeats, Shaw, Beckett and Heaney). Also included are Jonathan Swift and his contemporaries, authors such as Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, who established their reputations in England, those who went to live abroad such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, and the great names from the 19C, including Yeats, Synge and O'Casey.
The modern art museum bears the name of Sir Hugh Lane (1875-1915), from whom the core of the collection came. There are major works of Irish and French painting, including impressionist canvases by Corot and Courbet, and the Francis Bacon Studio, purchased in 1998. An entire room is dedicated to Roderick O'Connor (1860-1940), a friend of Gauguin; his canvases reflect the influence of his fellow French painters, from Seurat to Van Gogh.
Portraits of actors and writers who have contributed to the influence of the Irish theatre decorate the foyer. It was opened in 1904 under the direction of Yeats and Lady Gregory, and since the 1950s has been housed in a modern building which also includes the smaller Peacock Playhouse.
Six bronze statues by Rowan Gillespie erected on the wharf on the bank of the Liffey evoke the full range of feelings and emotions experienced by the many victims of the Great Famine.
The most elegant of Dublin's shopping streets is now a pedestrian precinct. In the 19C it was paved with pine blocks to soften the noise of the carriage wheels. Bewley's Oriental Café with its mosaic façade and stained glass windows by Henry Clarke was opened in 1927; the obsolete equipment exhibited on the upper floor give a glimpse of developments in the profession since the 1840s.
The modest house where George Bernard Shaw (1854-1939) was born and spent his early years is furnished in the style of the mid-19C.
The sweet fragrance of hops will lure you into the old warehouse of the Guiness brewery, where a glass of the most famous creamy-headed stout in Ireland is given to visitors after they have visited the Guinness production exhibition (for which there is a charge, despite its promotional nature). A film, writings, paintings, and old equipment help recreate the 140-year existence of the family firm.
Part of the old Jameson distillery has been redeveloped to demonstrate the processes used in whiskey production, from the oldest to the most recent. A video is shown before the tour, which then passes from a kiln to the courtyard where the barley was delivered, and then to the grain store. All the mysteries surrounding the maturing of the famous spirit are revealed, following which there is a tasting.
The tour starts with the passengers boarding a drakkar to explore Dyfflin, the old Viking Dublin. The inhabitants relate how they traded, settled in Dublin, working with leather and textiles and making jewellery before converting to Christianity and building the first church. A film traces the history of the Vikings as they journey as far as Russia and Istanbul, navigating by the sun and stars.
This area, a good example of renovation which succeeded under the pressure of public opinion led by pop group U2, has gradually been transformed into a cultural district teeming with theatres, cinemas, cabarets, bars, cultural centres (there are seven, including the DESIGNyard, devoted to the applied arts, and the Irish Film Centre, devoted to cinema), galleries, «alternative» shops, exotic restaurants, hotels and homes. Neglected areas have been used to create squares: Meeting House Square for open-air entertainment, Central Bank Plaza in the banking and insurance area in Dama Street, and Temple Bar Square with its shopping centre.