On the other side of Europe: Dublin
Of course my first thing to do exploring Dublin was joining the free tour. (We just love free tours!) The Dublin guide was hilarious and well read, the perfect combination if you ask me. After two and a half hours I already felt a lot more oriented in the city. Which is one of the reasons I love free tours so much but more about this here.
Hate to admit it but I was really shockingly unfamiliar with the history of Ireland. So here’s a short history lesson in case you need it. In case you don’t, feel free to skip to the photos.
A long time ago pretty much most of Ireland was covered with ice. Then it began melting and the island appeared. Farmers arrived there. Around 300 BC Celts migrated from Europe. They influenced a lot of the nowadays Irish culture – the first official language, as well as most of the Irish myths. Early mid-5th century, Saint Patrick and other Christian missionaries arrived and Christianity took over Ireland.
Vikings migrated from Scandinavia and found the city of Dublin. Ok, so now the confusing and complicated story of North Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain. It all commenced with the Act of Union in 1801 which united politically Ireland and Great Britain. This meant that Britain had great power over Ireland. The Irish protested and rebelled but always unsuccessfully. This led to more than a century of rebellions and finally in 1921 after the War of independence Ireland and Britain signed a treaty. Ireland was independent but had to be divided into Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State. Northern Ireland became a sovereign state of the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland joined the European Union.
So you should keep in mind that if you want to visit Northern Ireland you have to bring sterling pounds with you and for the Republic of Ireland euros. Enough with the history, it’s picture time.
I honestly can declare my instant falling in love with this city. And what’s not to love?! There are beautiful bridges standing across the river Liffey, medieval castles and fortresses, vast green parks with ponds where you be blissfully lost, bright colored doors and facades, many flowers, local designer shops, Irish pubs and tasty beer!
In Dublin like in any other large and old dated city there are many churches and cathedrals. You can see the most spectacular ones below.
Trinity College was founded in 1592 and it was originally outside of the city. Later the nowadays campus is build to be similar to the ones of Oxford and Cambridge University. I so wish I’d go to school here. Except the magnificent buildings of the campus the library deserves your attention also. In it its preserved the mythical Book of Kells, the famous medieval illuminated manuscript that contains the four Gospels of the New Testament in Latin. The library itself is stunning with its wooden interior, long rooms and extremely high ceilings. So I’ve heard. To be honest I hadn’t had the chance to go in because of the enormous queue and due to my lack of time unfortunately. But I regret it and will go back and visit it properly. So if you are in Dublin and you love libraries, history and art you should definitely spare some time for it. After that you could send us some pictures and share the experience!
Even more inspiration for a day sightseeing in Dublin. Even more inspiration for a day sightseeing in Dublin.
Note: Just so you are well informed, I visited all of this and more while on a free walking tour that lasted 2 and a half hours.
Credit: Some of the photos belong to my friend Margarita Savova.
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