Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is amazing!

Spire of Dublin, a.k.a the Monument of Light, was erected between December 2002 and January 2003 on the site of Nelson’s Pillar in O’Connell Street. The spire was designed by architect Ian Ritchie, who won the Dublin City Council competition to find a suitable replacement for the Pillar that explored in 1966. The beauty of the Spire is that it commemorates nothing but toasts Dublin’s bustling present and points forward towards a limitless, brighter, and more prosperous future.

Before it became a castle, it was once the site of a 930s Danish Viking Fortress, then a 12th Century Norman Fort. The castle was created by England’s King John and completed in 1230 as a city defence, Royal Treasury and administration of justice. The courtyard featured a central square, defensive walls and four round towers, only one of which – the Record Tower – survives to this day. The castle acted as the English, then British, seat of Government until 1922 when it was ceremonially handed over to the newly-formed Provisional Government and its leader, Michael Collins.

Coats of arms of royal chief representatives still adorn the Chapel Royal’s carved oak galleries and stained glass windows – harking back to a time when Anglo-Irish pomp and extravagance continued undiminished, even through the Great Famine. Much of the medieval castle burnt down in the Great Fire of 1684, and the rebuilt structure attained a Georgian style. Many of the rooms that are here today, including the magnificent State Apartments, hark back to this period. Today, the Dublin Castle hosts many state visits, conferences and Presidential inaugurations.

The Ha’Penny bridge opened on May 19, 1816 and citizens enjoyed ten toll free days. Thereafter, it was a convenience, paid for in ha’pennies. Proposed by Dublin city aldermen, John Beresford and William Walsh as a shortcut to Crow Street Theatre. The bridge lease was granted to Walsh.

Trinity College Library

The Wicklow Mountains were originally covered with forests. Neolithic farmers cleared the trees using stone axes. In doing so, they facilitated the development of the blanket bog that covers the hills today. Many years later, in the late 6th century, St. Kevin established a monastic settlement in Glendalough. It flourished for 600 years. The remains of several churches and crosses are still there today and are easily explored. During and after the 1798 Rebellion, the Wicklow Mountains offered an ideal hiding place for rebel troops. The Great Military Road was constructed at this time to make the area more accessible. It remains an important route across the hills and a scenic drive for visitors. Lead was mined in Glendalough and Glendasan and at other locations outside the Wicklow National Park which was established in 1991.

Dublin Zoo

The Cliffs of Moher received their name from an old promontory fort called Mothar or Moher, which once stood on Hag’s Head, the southernmost point of the cliffed coast, now the site of Moher Tower. The writer, Thomas Johnson Westropp referred to it in 1905 as Moher Uí Ruis or Moher Uí Ruidhin. The fort still stood in 1780 and is mentioned in an account from John Lloyd’s A Short Tour Of Clare (1780). It was demolished in 1808 to provide material for a lookout/telegraph tower that was intended to provide warning in case of a French invasion during the Napoleonic wars. The cliffs appeared in several films including The Princess Bride (1987) (as the filming location for “The Cliffs of Insanity”) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009).

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