Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ireland day 1: Dublin (part 2)

So, finally I got some spare time to write the rest of the Ireland series and the photos are all uploaded now, too.
The Historical Walking Tour started at the front of Trinity College. After walking through the front gates we had a look at the wonderful courtyard and the

A part of the Trinity College courtyard*

He told us some interesting stuff about the college's history, but I can't remember anymore, too bad!
Here is some nice photo of the Library Square:

Libary Square*

Trinity College had a lot of famous students, like Oscar Wilde, and also is - from what I understood - much involved in the Irish history and the history of dublin. For more details, have a look at Wikipedia.
Walking back to the front gate, you can find the Irish Houses of Parliament, which now inherits the Bank of Ireland.

Irish Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament served as the seat of both the Lords and Commons chambers of the Irish parliament of the Kingdom of Ireland for most of the 18th century. The parliament was abolished by the Act of Union of 1800, when the island became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Basically, the purpose of the Parliament back then wasto collect the taxes for Great Britain and it was - according to Donnell - one of the most corrupt parliaments in the world. (read more)
As you can see, the building has no windows. Donnell told us that is is because there has been a tax on windows, so they shutted all of them to save money.

After the ex-Irish Parliament, we went to an old police station, I'll let the pictures talk.

Old police station*

Entrance with some policemen heads on both sides

Then we passed by a station of the Dublin Fire Brigade with its tower, where the firehoses are being dried since ages. We were told some interesting and funny things about its history and its up to you to do the tour yourself to find out ;)
Finally, we arrived a O'Connell Street, which can't be overseen because of its gigantonormous metal Spire.

The Spire with the Jim Larkin statue in foreground

Until 8th March 1966 there has been standing the Nelson Pillar, but the IRA decided to blow it in half at 1:27.
Nelson Pillar has been about 141 meters or 134 feet and 3 inches tall, so it has been a real landmark for over 158 years. Unlike The Spire it was accessible to everyone and I guess you had a wonderful view over Dublin from the top of it.

Illuminated tip

The Spire is 134 meters tall(as I am a physician, I love SI-Units), which is 404 feet(or HTTP "Not Found" :P) and the diameter is 3 m at its base and 15 cm at the tip. The steel needle weighs 126 tons and its illumination at the tip can be see beyond Dublin Bay. It is stabilized by some buffer, so the tip only fluctuates 1.50 meters. Maybe they did it like in the Taipeh and put some giant steel ball hanging on ropes into it, I don't know.
The Statue shows James Larkin which played a major role in the Dublin Lockout.
In this major industrial dispute, beetween 20,000 workers and 300 employers fought a dispute for the labors right to uninionize. Taking place in dublin it lasted from 26 August 1913 to 18 January 1914, and is often viewed as the most severe and significant industrial dispute in Irish history. I really recommend you to read the Wikipedia article, because it is very interesting!
Our tour guide pointed out the various bullet holes in the O'Connell monument, which was very interesting.

Bullet hole from the fights on O'Connell Street

Daniel O'Connell monument

Daniel O'Connell(6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847) was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century. He campaigned for the right of Catholics to sit in the Westminister Parliament, which has been denied to them for over 100 years and to repeal the Act of Union which combined Ireland and Great Britain.

After O'Connell Streeet, we went to Temple Bar, which is a place you definitely have to visit. Unlike the name lets one assume, it is a street, not a real bar - but a pretty large one.There you can find for example the Palace Bar, which was established in 1843 and is one of the oldest pubs still in business today. It was very popular because of the Irish Times journalists and - in 1900's - people like Flann O'Brien, W.B. Yeats and Patrick Kavanagh sitting there.

Palace Bar

If you are looking for some nice place to go and maybe have a Guinness or two, Temple Bar is your first address. Besides you also have a lot of street musicians and funny (drunk) poeple there :D

If no pub, restaurant or bar works for you, the Hard Rock Cafe Dublin is still left.

Hard Rock Cafe Dublin

Temple Bar nearly directly leads to Christs Church which looks more ancient than it is.

Christs Church

The tour went on to Dublin Castle. The cameras battery was empty and my brain flooded with impressions so I'm sorry I cannot show it to you or tell any details myself. But using the Wikipedia link above you will find some nice and shiny pictures plus some very interesting information.

At evening I got hungry so I went back to Temple Bar for something to eat.
If you are looking for dinner, I would strongly recommend you to go there before or about 19 o'clock, because there are many restaurants and bars offering so-called "early bird" menus. They usually consists of three courses where you can choose between two or more entrees, main courses and desserts each for max. 15 €.
This was the first time in my life I ate Irish stew, which is basically soup made of lamb, carrots, potatoes onions and parsley. I really can recommend you that, the lamb was so soft that it felt dissolving on your tongue like chocolate :-9

Irish Stew, really tasty!

In my next post in part 3, I will show you Dublin at night and I promise it will be beautiful and funny the same time!

Further links:
Album on PicasaWeb

All pictures shown in this post are licensed under a Creative commons by-nc-sa 3.0 Germany license. © by Tobias Brennecke, Remscheid 2010

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