The Dublin Castle is one of the many historic buildings in the capital city, as well as the most famous of the castles in Dublin. The Dublin Castle history, like many Irish histories, involves both the Vikings and the British. Located south of the River Liffey, Dublin Castle was built on the site of the first Viking fortress and became the seat of British rule in Ireland. It is actually located at the site where the Poddle and Liffey Rivers meet, making a black pool. The Black Pool is called a dubh linn in Irish (pronounced dove-lin), from which the city of Dublin got its name. In order to get to the castle, head west of City Hall and enter through the Cork Hill Gate. It is located on Castle Street in West Dublin.
While visitors can take guided tours of the Dublin Castle Ireland government officials often use the castle as a venue for fancy state functions and other government purposes. Guided tours are available of the principal State Apartments, which are located on the southern side of the Upper Castle Yard. These elaborately decorated apartments were the former residence of the English viceroys. Nowadays, the apartments are used by the president of Ireland to host visiting heads of state and EU ministers. The apartments have expensive carpets, painted ceilings, and delicate Waterford glass chandeliers. For Dublin Castle history continues to happen: one of the famed rooms is St. Patrick’s Hall, which is used for the inauguration of Irish presidents. The castle, in a sense, is a bridge between the old and new worlds of Ireland, linking together the country’s Viking roots, British history, and dynamic future.
While exploring Dublin Castle history lovers can view the Record Tower, which is the earliest of several towers on the site. It is the largest remaining relic of the original Norman buildings, which were built by King John between 1208 and 1220. Like other smaller castles in Dublin, the Dublin Castle also has a clock tower and a courtyard. The expansive Great Courtyard is actually the reputed site of the Black Pool.
The Round Drawing Room is one of the newer architectural parts of the castle, as it was established in 1411 and rebuilt in 1777. Unlike other castles in Dublin, but similar to Britain’s Tower of London, the Bermingham Tower was often used to imprison Irish leaders. In fact, it was used as a prison until well into the 20th century.
Like other castles in Dublin, there is also a church located on the castle premises. The Church of the Holy Trinity, formerly called Chapel Royal, was designed in 1814 by Francis Johnston. The chapel contains beautiful carved oak panels, stained glass windows, and an elaborate array of fan vaults on its ceiling.
At Dublin Castle Ireland travelers can explore, discover, and enjoy the beauty and elegance of this famous structure. In addition to the 45-minute guided tour, castle visitors can dine at the little patisserie and bistro located in the Castle Vaults. Tours of the castle are available every half-hour, but the rooms are closed when in official use, so be sure to call ahead to check availability.