Dublin Castle

Dub Castle courtyard

For more than 1000 years before the Vikings came to Ireland’s shore, there has been a settlement at the site of the Dublin Castle. King John of England ordered the construction of a castle here. It functioned as the seat of colonial rule and the most important fortification in Ireland for eight centuries.

We were charmed by the 19th century cantilevered staircase. Above the double doorway you can see the official symbol of Ireland, the Gold Harp against a blue background. The throne room is set in the heart of the State Apartments. Visiting monarchs received homage here of local subjects. The throne was actually made for King George IV’s state visit to Ireland. It is a massive throne, and was probably built to fit a rather large man. When Queen Elizabeth came to visit, they quickly made an elegant stool so that she could first step up on it to position herself on the throne, and then be able to rest her feet so they would not awkwardly dangle in the air!

The Portrait Gallery was a banquet room where dinners often consisted of 16 to 30 courses (How is that possible?!) and were served on a table so long it took up the length of the room. The original wood paneling that lines the walls dates to the late 1740s. This room houses a collection of portraits of former Viceroys.  The State Drawing Room was restored after a fire in 1941. Its large mirrors, pier glasses, and console tables were all carefully restored.

Dub Castle stairs

St. Patrick’s Hall was formerly the Ballroom of the Viceregal court. It is home to the most significant painted ceiling in all of Ireland completed in 1790. Banners of the chivalric order of the Knights of St. Patrick hang from the walls. Today. it is the most important ceremonial room in Ireland and used for state banquets for visiting dignitaries and the inauguration of Ireland’s President, which takes place every seven years.

Dub Castle lightDub Castle entrance

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