Reem's Ireland Trip - June 2019

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Republic of Ireland (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann), or simply Ireland (Irish: Éire), has a rich culture that, along with its people, has been exported around the world.Ireland, in fact, has two cultures: the historical Gaelic culture (including one of the oldest literatures in Western Europe) and the more recent English-speaking culture which largely replaced it. It can be worth your while to dig a little deeper before visiting Ireland to discover something about the older world that lies beneath.
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Temple Bar is known as the cultural quarter of Dublin. Originally a slum that was to be developed into a bus terminus, it became home to a number of artists' galleries and small businessmen's shops who took advantage of the cheap rent in the 1980s. Presently, the Irish Film Institute and the Temple Bar Music Centre are amongst the several cultural institutions tucked away in this district's narrow cobbled streets. Since the success of the movement to preserve Temple Bar, several drinking establishments have also popped up in the neighborhood. Though family-friendly during the day, what happens here after dark wouldn't be considered culturally rich experiences by most. As far as nightlife goes, Temple Bar is a popular place to get a drink or two or three with friends, enjoy some traditional Irish music and observe the rowdy antics from a distance.
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Sandymount Hotel enjoys a long & distinguished history which continues to whisper through the bricks & corniced ceilings of the eight Victorian Houses acquired over two generations which now comprise the modernised hotel on Herbert Road. These Victorian houses were originally built in 1866 as homes for Dublin City’s aristocracy. Famous residents included Sir Henry Robinson, Vice President of the Irish Local Government Board (1879-1891) and more recently, the Irish writer, Mary Kenny.
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The bronze statue of Molly Malone commemorates the young woman featured in the local ballad, 'Cockles and Mussels'. As the song goes, this beautiful woman plied her trade as a fishmonger through the streets where her statue now rests, until she suddenly died of a fever. As a nod to the folk song, a statue was erected on the corner of Grafton and Suffolk streets and unveiled at the 1988 Dublin Millennium celebrations. This tune has been adopted as Dublin's unofficial anthem, boosting this heroine to eternal fame. Though there is debate as to whether or not a Molly Malone like the one in the song ever existed, she is real to the people of Dublin and is remembered both in song as well as on June 13, National Molly Malone Day. The statue also acts as a popular rendezvous spot for groups as the beautiful bosomy woman with her cart cannot be missed.
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Dublin, capital of the Republic of Ireland, is on Ireland’s east coast at the mouth of the River Liffey. Its historic buildings include Dublin Castle, dating to the 13th century, and imposing St Patrick’s Cathedral, founded in 1191. City parks include landscaped St Stephen’s Green and huge Phoenix Park, containing Dublin Zoo. The National Museum of Ireland explores Irish heritage and culture.
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Supremely located in the heart of Dublin, Trinity College stands as the gem of Ireland. Ranked as the number one university in the nation and in the top forty globally, Trinity College has a stellar academic reputation in addition to being one of Dublin's finest landmarks.Established in 1592, the college has been at its current location since the 1700s and boasts some beautiful Georgian architecture from that time. The Campanile and Examination Hall are commonly the subjects of photographs. The Old Library is popular amongst visitors as well, but it is not the look of the building's exterior that draws them there. Held within the Old Library is the world famous Book of Kells, an ancient sacred text, which is on display in a special exhibit.While Trinity College is deeply rooted in its history, much has changed since the institution first opened its doors over 400 years ago. Founded by Queen Elizabeth I of England, the college was originally only open to Protestant men.
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Known as one of Ireland's national treasures, the Book of Kells is a sacred and important historical text dating from around 800 A.D., making it one of the oldest books in the world. The book gets its name from the Abbey of Kells, which was its original home until the continuous plundering of the Vikings proved to be too great of a threat. Since the 15th century it has been at Trinity College for safekeeping. The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript created by Celtic monks that depicts the 4 gospels of the New Testament as well as other texts. Written in Latin, the book has been translated and found to have a few mistakes. But these are overlooked as the manuscript was made to serve a more decorative and ceremonial purpose than one of utility. In fact, it is its illuminations illustrations that make the Book of Kells so remarkable.
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One of the oldest buildings in Dublin, Christ Church Cathedral is located in the former medieval heart of the city. Founded in 1030 by Sitric, King of the Dublin Norsemen, the grand cathedral also known as The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity has long been a place of pilgrimage for Ireland's devout. Incorporated into the Irish Church in 1152, today it's the seat of both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin. Renowned for its design, on a one-hour tour you'll get to explore the interior, keeping a look out for its famous stained glass windows, the smaller chapels behind the main altar, and the secret underground floor. You'll get an insight into the history of the cathedral, and hear the strange tale of the mummified cat and rat. You'll visit the crypt ? one of the largest and oldest in Britain and Ireland, and also get to have a go at ringing the bells of Christ Church Cathedral in the belfry.
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St. Patrick's Cathedral, built to honor the patron saint of Ireland, is a must-see attraction in Dublin. It stands adjacent to the well that it is said St. Patrick himself used to baptize converts. The original wooden church was erected in this spot in the 5th century but was rebuilt at the end of the 13th century to reflect its boost to cathedral status. Some repairs were done in the 1800s but the original style was maintained well enough to make it unclear as to how much of the medieval structure remains. Milestones in the cathedral's history include famous author Jonathan Swift serving as Dean and the first performance of Handel's Messiah by members of the cathedral's Choir School. The former Dean's grave and the original music composition are on display in the cathedral as evidence of these events. Besides these items, St. Patrick's is filled with rows of statues, beautiful stained glass, and elegant decorations for visitors to marvel at as they walk through.
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The only museum in Ireland to win “European Museum of the Year,” Dublin's Chester Beatty Library holds a huge and diverse arts collection featuring ancient Egyptian manuscripts and Old Masters paintings, carved Chinese snuff bottles and miniature paintings, one of the world's largest collections of papyri, rare and ancient copies of the Qu'ran and the Bible, among other rare artefacts. Works are displayed in two collections: "Sacred Traditions" and "Artistic Traditions." Some works in the collection date back nearly 5,000 years, and on a visit you'll see the first illustrated Life of the Prophet and the Gospel of Mani. The Chester Beatty Library also hosts regular temporary exhibitions. Opened in 1950 to house the grand collection of mining magnate Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, since 2000, the library has been housed in the grounds of Dublin Castle — a move that was made in commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Beatty's birth.
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The National Museum of Ireland is dedicated to showcasing items of Irish art, culture, and natural history. Of the three branches the collections are divided amongst, the archaeology section, located on Kildare Street, holds the best known and most impressive of all of the exhibits. Its collection of medieval metalwork is known as the Treasury and is home to the world's most complete collection of Celtic metal artifacts, dating back from Ireland's Iron and Bronze Ages. Highlights of the collection include the Ardaugh Chalice, considered the finest piece of Celtic art found, and the Tara Brooch, an intricate piece of jewelry crafted in the 8th century. Other artifacts are grouped into "hoards", of which the Mooghaun and Broighter hoards are the most notable. The museum also displays an extensive collection of prehistoric goldwork as well as artifacts that document the settlement of Ireland from 7,000 BC all the way up to 500 BC.





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