Dublin castle is where Dublin began as a medieval city. Dublin castle was founded in 1204 under the instructions of king John of Robin Hood Fame. However, what makes Dublin castle even more special is that during its time it has been a treasury, a court of law, a prison, a parliament, a fortress and the centre of British administration which governed Ireland for 700 years until 1922.
The Grand Staircase
This staircase greets you as soon as you begin the tour. It was the first of its kind in Dublin and was built in 1749. The staircase is the first thing that strikes you upon entering the room and is very impressive and leads the way to the state apartments. This staircase has been part of the main ceremonial route used during the Inauguration of the President of Ireland since 1938.
The State Drawing Rooms
Created in 1838 this room was used as a formal sitting room. The state drawing room is still used today as the reception of dignitaries visiting Ireland by the President of Ireland. However, the room does hold one of the most valuable paintings of the Dublin castle collection, a portrait of Elizabeth Leigh, Countess of Southampton by Sir Anthony Van Dyck.
It was created in 1788 as an audience chamber. The throne was originally made for King George IV, when visiting Ireland in 1821. It was later used by Queen Victoria and King Edward VII during their visits to the Castle. It is very impressive in this open room where the Throne is the centrepiece.
The Portrait Gallery
This room gets its name from the collection of portrait painting hung along the wall. The paintings have been on this wall since 1849. It was used as a dining room and was usually were state dinners were held, however, expensive and exotic food were beginning to be served in this room in the eighteenth century which was a direct reflection of the wealth status at the time of the castles occupants. The finer details are the most impressive such as the gold harp which is Ireland’s national emblem and the Waterford crystal glasses set on the table.
St. Patrick’s Hall
It was first created in the eighteenth century as the ballroom of the castle. The hall is one of Irelands greatest ceremonial halls. One of the most profound pieces in this room are the paintings on the ceiling. The painting of the ceiling commenced in 1788 by an Italian artist by the name of Vincenzo Waldré. Today the hall is used for the inauguration of the president of Ireland.