Sunday, 18 January 2015

This morning, I got on a bus around 11:00 to head into the city. The campus was offering us free walking tours of Dublin this weekend, and I knew it would be worthwhile to attend.  The tour started at St. Stephen's Green, which is a public park in Dublin's city centre that covers 22 acres and has been there since 1880. The park is home to many statues and monuments, a children's park, and a lovely pond in the center. 

Feeding the pigeons isn't just for the movies. The seagulls are new, however. 
This is a monument dedicated to the Irish Army and the men who have given their lives to the service.  The monument is a representation of a soldier's tent, and the fire inside is always burning. The Irish Army exists only to keep peace, and soldiers are only allowed to kill in self defense.
Oscar Wilde, Irish poet and novelist. The Importance of Being Earnest was always
one of my favorite reads in sophomore English class. 
James Joyce, famous Irish novelist and poet

He is most famous for his novel Ulysses and his short story collection Dubliners.  He studied English, Italian, and French at the old University College Dublin, and the college's library is named after him.
UCD's original location

Built of grey stone is the original University College Dublin, established in 1854 by John Henry Newman. The original site is located just outside of St. Stephen's Green in Dublin's city centre, but the University was moved to County Belfield starting in the 1960's after several unsuccessful attempts to expand the original location. 
The Celtic cross is an important symbol in Irish culture and can be seen throughout the city
This monument was a gift given to Ireland by the Federal Republic of Germany. 
At the foot of the monument is this inscription in Irish:

With gratitude for the help given to German children by the Irish people after World War II 

This statue is a testimony to the Potato Famine in Ireland, which occurred from 1845 to 1852. An estimated two million people died of starvation and related diseases during this time, and anyone caught stealing was criminalized and taken to be jailed in another country. Many people emigrated to escape death (this is why we have such strong Irish ancestry in America, England, and Canada). In only seven years, Ireland's population dropped from almost 9 million to 3.5 million.

The Prime Minister's estate, or as they call him in Ireland, the Taoisigh

The four panels on this estate's door each represent a part of the Irish culture.
Top two: drinking and reading. Bottom two: music and theatre.

Doors on this street are known for their artistry. Each door is painted and decorated differently, a tradition that started with a story. When Queen Elizabeth died, England ordered all of Ireland to paint their doors black in mourning. Some time later and completely unrelated, there was a man who lived on this street who was known to drink to excess, and who would stumble drunkenly into the wrong house to find his wife in bed with another man, or so he thought. Eventually the man repainted his own estate door bright red to guide him home at night, and so tradition was made. 

Trinity College, established by Queen Elizabeth

Trinity College Courtyard
Trinity College Bell Tower stands where the monastery had been, which was torn down at the Queen's orders.
Dublin Castle
Lady Justice

Dublin Castle was our last stop on the tour, and the rest of the pictures are just some parts of Dublin that I felt were photo-worthy.  The beauty of this city will never cease to amaze me. There is so much history behind nearly every wall and every door. 

Left: North Dublin, Right: South Dublin

Here's an incredibly talented street performer who definitely earned a few coins from my wallet.

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