1200 YEARS OF IRISH HISTORY IN ONE DAY
It was so quiet that the sound of the metal door being unlocked echoed through the room like an unexpected rumble of thunder. The rusted hinges creaked like a slow, frightened squeal cut short by overwhelming fear. Our feet shuffled softly against the bare floor as we slowly made our way through the narrow halls.
We were following our tour guide through the deserted rooms of Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin’s infamous 18th century prison. Her voice echoed against the cold stone walls as she told us haunting stories of those who had been imprisoned and executed here. Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916 were all detained at Kilmainham Gaol. Outside in the courtyard, a cross marked the spot where several of them were executed. Throughout the tour everyone was silent, and I couldn’t tell whether the chill running down my spine was because of the temperature or the eerie atmosphere. The stillness in the building, the stark rooms and empty prison cells made it seem like no one ever inhabited this place, but the names carved by prisoners into door frames were a sudden reminder that many spent years of their life here in cold, dark solitude.
A tour of the Kilmainham Gaol is a riveting glimpse into the profound history of Dublin, a city that’s steeped in history. From the delicate beauty of the calligraphic art of the Columbanus times, the dark tales of the Irish Rebellion, to the magnificent architecture and gastronomy that is present today, Dublin is a compact city full of experiences that will send you travelling through time. way to Marsh’s library. Tucked into a quaint nook of a tiny street, Marsh’s library is a beautifully preserved collection of books dating back to the late Renaissance and early Enlightenment periods. It was the first public library in Ireland when it opened in 1707. The building still boasts all the original furnishings like the carved and lettered Irish oak shelves, seating, and three furnished reading alcoves.