If you are going to visit the capital of Ireland, you might want to buckle up, because it has some of the most fascinating museums that you may have come across in the world. So, before you head off those world-famous Irish pubs, make sure that you spend a little time at the following educational establishments as well (wink)!
1. National Museum of Ireland:
First and foremost, you should explore the most renowned cultural landmark of the fair capital: the National Museum of Ireland. Dedicated to Irish art, natural history, national history and local culture, it boasts with a collection of nearly 4 million items. Established in 1877, it has grown into a juggernaut with four significant branches: the Archaeology branch of Kildare Street, the Decorative Arts and History branch of Benburb Street (keep an eye out for the Great Seal of the Irish Free State there), the Natural History Museum of Merion Street (also known as the Dead Zoo), and the Museum of Country Life section in County Mayo (the only branch that is not located within the bounds of Dublin). We encourage each and every one of you to check out all of these sections because they are all vital cogs in the grand design that is their parent-institution. There is no better way of delving into the Irish culture than the National Museum. Oh, and did we mention that the Archaeology branch has a vast collection of Celtic artefacts (this is for all you eager travellers who love the Celts)?
2. Irish Museum of Modern Art:
Next up, you should head over to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (also known colloquially as IMMA), located on 8 Military Road, Kilmainham. Established in 1990 by the government and opened in 1991, the museum is a national leader when it comes to modern and contemporary art. Art-piece exchange programs and temporary exhibitions are frequent there and this boosts the revisitability rate of the establishment by a significant amount. When you are done with the spectacular indoors exhibitions, make sure that you explore its expansive and awe-inspiring courtyard. Harboured by the renowned 17th-century Royal Hospital Kilmainham, you can reach it easily via the Red Line of Dublin’s Luas light rail system (at the James’s stop). Oh, and if you want to be polite, you could try and ask around in Irish, for the locals greatly appreciate such efforts – it is called Áras Nua-Ealaíne na hÉireann, if you choose to make an attempt (wink).
3. National Gallery of Ireland:
Ready for some more art? Good, for we are now going to head over to the National Gallery of Ireland situated proudly on Merrion Square West (in the centre of Dublin). It is also accessible from Clare Street, if you happen to be there instead (note that due to constant renovations, one of the two entrances may be temporarily closed to the public – always ask around to make sure that you are doing the right thing). Harbouring a massive collection of Irish and European art pieces, the museum was formally established in 1864 at the request of the barrister John Edward Pigot. Note that it had been founded 10 years earlier but it took some time until it could be opened to the public. Notable works include: Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ”, Giovan Battista Moroni’s “Portrait of a Gentleman and his two Children”, Zanobi Strozzi’s “Assumption of the Virgin with Sts Jerome and Francis”, Fra Angelico’s “Sts Cosmas and Damian and their Brothers surviving the Stake”, Luca Giordano’s “Venus, Mars and the Forge of Vulcan”, Peter Paul Rubens’ “St Peter finding the Tribute Money”, Anthony van Dyck’s “A Boy standing on a Terrace”, Marinus van Reymerswaele’s “The Calling of Matthew”, Willem Drost’s “Bust of a Man Wearing a Large-brimmed Hat”, Johannes Vermeer’s “Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid”, Antonia Zárate’s “Portrait of Doña Antonia Zárate”, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez’ “Kitchen Maid with the Supper at Emmaus”, and even Augustus Nicholas Burke’s “Connemara Girl”. The list could go on but we believe that each and every one of you will have a different favourite when it comes to these paintings. The museum is reachable via the Green Line of the Luas (at the St Stephen’s Green stop). Do not miss this one by any means!
Did you enjoy our list? After reading this article, how many of the aforementioned establishments are you planning on visiting? Tell us all about it in the comment section below and be sure to check back regularly for some fun updates (wink)! Safe travels!