On our second day in Dublin, we took guided tours of Dublin Castle and Trinity College.
Dublin Castle was not very far from Christ Church Cathedral. We had purchased tickets ahead of time for a guided tour. Our tour guide was again FANTASTIC, extremely knowledgeable and really patient with questions. The castle dates back to 1204 and has served as the headquarters of the English and later British administration in Ireland. Today, the castle serves as a government complex and cultural site and it is where the Irish President is inaugurated.
I could not get a picture of the entire castle, but I did find these plans for the city of Dublin and how the castle served as part of the defensive network of the city.
Only surviving tower of the original castle:
Our tour started in the Viking and Medieval Excavation area, the oldest parts of the castle.
The Chapel. Fun fact, the chapel looks like it is made of stone, but actually it is wood and plaster with a stone facade.
After the Chapel we moved into the State Apartments.
George IV Portrait. Apparently, during the unveiling of this portrait, George's friends starting laughing. I guess they figured it didn't accurately depict his "likeness" which did not portray all 440lbs of George and his over 50 inch waistline. Remember the nursery rhyme, "Georgie Porgie," that was for George IV (also previously mentioned in an older post, Grimsthorpe).
George IV throne
The Portrait Gallery. Fun fact, serving pineapples was a sign of wealth, according to the tour guide. If you couldn't afford to serve it, some would just buy it and display it, real or fake.
St. Patrick's Hall. This room is where the Irish President is inaugurated. Our tour guide had mentioned Nancy Pelosi was recently in Dublin a few weeks prior to our trip and she had dinner in the Hall instead of The Portrait Gallery.
The Chester Beatty Library is located next door to the castle and admission to the library was free. Alfred Chester Beatty, who signed his name A. Chester Beatty, was an American mining magnate, philanthropist and one of the most successful businessmen of his generation. He collected African, Asian, European and Middle Eastern manuscripts, rare printed books, prints and objects d'art. Chester Beatty became a naturalised British citizen in 1933, knighted in 1954, and made an honorary citizen of Ireland in 1957. In 1950, he established the Chester Beatty Library. The Library was amazing and the works were just spectacular. It was quite amazing to the collections. I would most definitely recommend a visit to this library.
After Dublin Castle, we took a stroll over to the University of Dublin where Trinity College is located. We purchased tickets for the student-led tour. The ticket included admission to the Old Library which contains the Book of Kells. Photography was not permitted in the area where the Book was located and the area was extremely crowded.
Inside of the Old Library:
More information on the Book of Kells: https://www.tcd.ie/visitors/book-of-kells/
After the Trinity College tour, we decided to walk around the city. We went to BoBo's, a gourmet Irish Burger joint, in the Temple Bar area of Dublin, for dinner.
Onto Day 3...