Sightseeing in Dublin:
Trinity’s greatest treasures are kept in the Old Library’s stunning 65m Long Room , which houses about 250,000 of the library’s oldest volumes, including the breathtaking Book of Kells . Your entry ticket includes admission to temporary exhibitions on display in the East Pavilion. The ground-floor Colonnades was originally an open arcade, but was enclosed in 1892 to increase the storage area. A previous attempt to increase the room’s storage capacity had been made in 1853, when the Long Room ceiling was raised. Other displays include a rare copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, which was read out by Pádraig Pearse at the beginning of the Easter Rising in 1916. Also here is the so-called harp of Brian Ború , which was definitely not in use when the army of this early Irish hero defeated the Danes at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. It does, however, date from around 1400, making it one of the oldest harps in Ireland.
If you have any desire to understand Irish history – especially the juicy bits about resistance to English rule – then a visit to this former prison is an absolute must. This threatening grey building, built between 1792 and 1795, has played a role in virtually every act of Ireland’s painful path to independence.
The uprisings of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916 ended with the leaders’ confinement here. Robert Emmet, Thomas Francis Meagher, Charles Stewart Parnell and the 1916 Easter Rising leaders were all visitors, but it was the executions in 1916 that most deeply etched the jail’s name into the Irish consciousness. Of the 15 executions that took place between 3 May and 12 May after the revolt, 14 were conducted here. As a finale, prisoners from the Civil War were held here from 1922. The jail closed in 1924.
Ancient Christian and Neolithic Sites very close to Dublin
Glendalough stands for the ‘glen of the two lakes’. The ancient monastic settlement of Glendalough is a truly spellbinding place, home to the impressive 10th-century Round Tower.
Take the scenic route out of Dublin, passing through the Wicklow Gap and Blessington Lakes to lovely Glendalough and the pretty village of Avoca. This scenic day trip is the perfect excursion from Dublin, filled with picture-postcard views of Ireland at its best.
The BBC series Ballykissangel was filmed in the lovely village of Avoca, and you will have time to check out the familiar sites such as Fitzgerald’s pub and the Post Office. You’ll also have time to visit the Avoca Handweavers and craft shop, reputed to be the oldest weaving mill in Ireland.
A thousand years older than Stonehenge, the extensive Neolithic necropolis known as Brú na Boinne (the Boyne Palace) is simply breathtaking, even if at first glance it just looks like a handful of raised mounds in the fecund fields of County Meath.
The largest artificial structures in Ireland until the construction of the Anglo-Norman castles 4000 years later, the necropolis was built to house VIP corpses.
Only two of the passage graves are open to visitors (Newgrange and Knowth) and they can only be visited as part of a carefully controlled organised tour departing from the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre.