There are untold treasures lying in the realms that rest outside Dublin’s gates, and it sure doesn’t take a mastermind to find them.
Photo by Sean Munson via Flickr
This historic former prison not far from central Dublin gives a vivid insight into what life behind bars was like in a fiercely divided Ireland between 1796 until it closed its doors in 1924.
Visitors today can take a guided tour around the cells which held leaders of numerous rebellions between 1798 and 1916. The prison site, used as a film location for In The Name of the Father, is also home to a museum on the history of Irish nationalism and an art gallery exhibiting paintings and sculptures of prisoners incarcerated in prisons all over Ireland.
Photo by Harold Strong via Geograph.ie
A 78-acre estate once owned by the Guinness family, Farmleigh House was purchased by the Irish Government in 1999 and developed to provide accommodation for guests of the nation, including Queen Elizabeth II on her visit to the Emerald Isle in May, 2011.
When not occupied by visiting dignitaries, Farmleigh is open to the public, who can witness the stunning Georgian-Victorian architecture of the Main House, walled and sunken gardens and The Benjamin Iveagh Library, which holds some fine examples of Irish bookbinding dating back to 18th century.
Photo by Piedra del Destino via Wikipedia
Hill of Tara
This archaeological site nestled in county Meath is one of Ireland’s historic treasures. In ancient Irish mythlogy, Tara was revered as a dwelling of the gods and an entrance place to the otherworld; St Patrick is said to have come here in 433 AD to confront the pagans.
Today, over 30 monuments are still visible, some dating back to 3500 BC. Visitors can take guided tours of the site, and on a clear day, the top of the hill offers stunning views across the whole of Ireland.
Photo by Andrew Parnell via Flickr
Located on the south bank of the River Boyne in the Heritage Town of Trim in County Meath, this is the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. Built over a 30-year period in the late 12th century, it was used for the filming of Hollywood blockbuster Braveheart.
Open to the public every day from Easter Saturday to Halloween from 10am, visitors can transport themselves back to medieval times by exploring the impressive three-storey keep and the curtain walls of this impressive monument to historic Ireland.
Photo by Sarah777 via Wikipedia
Visited by US First Lady Michelle Obama and her children on their 2011 tour of Ireland, this valley formed during the Ice Age, situated in the Wicklow Mountains National Park, offers history, archaeology, architecture and more.
Home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland, founded by St Kevin in the 6th century, guided tours are available all year round. If you’d rather simply explore the general area, Glendalough and its surroundings offer some of the most stunning rural landscapes in all of Ireland.
DUBLIN AIRPORT TERMINAL