Hi Everyone. I hope you all had a good week. I’m delighted to be back on the road again this week to continue our journeys around Ireland. This week, I’m going to take us all on a trip around my favorite Irish museums. Of course you could spend weeks exploring the many wonderful museums in Dublin alone! But as always I want to incorporate a little road trip. So buckle up and let’s get started!
Lulu’s Top 5 Irish Museums
1. The National Museum of Ireland
We’ll begin at Ireland’s National Museum. This is probably Ireland’s most important cultural institution. Different collections are housed in 4 separate locations. Three of which are in Dublin.
The decorative arts and history collection is situated in Collins Barracks in Dublin. This former army barracks was named after Michael Collins in 1920. The Natural History Museum or “Dead Zoo” is located in Merrion Street. It boasts an impressive collection of animal specimens. The Country Life exhibition is housed in Castlebar county Mayo and is dedicated to ordinary life in mainly rural Ireland.
But my favorite branch of the National Museum has to be the Archaeological Collection in Dublin (pictured above). Situated in the heart of the city in Kildare Street, the building itself is an architectural gem and a sight to behold. The museum opened it’s doors in 1890. The building was designed by architects Thomas Newenham Deane and his son Thomas Manly Deane who hailed from Cork. The impressive colonnaded entrance and domed rotunda takes inspiration from the Pantheon in Rome. Here you will find many important Irish archaeological treasures . These include incredibly preserved bog bodies, the Aradagh Chalice and the Tara Brooch to name but a few.
2. Cork City Gaol
So next we’re heading south to Cork city. Cork City Gaol is an impressive castle like building just a stones throw from the city center. It began life as Cork’s city gaol in the 1820s and closed it’s doors in 1923. Here you can discover what life was like for inmates of the prison in the 19th and 20th centuries with an impressive tour and reconstructions of prison life.
The gaol also houses an impressive Radio Museum. The gaol was home to Cork’s first radio station from 1927 to the late 1950s.
3. The Titanic Museum
Next on our tour of Irish museums is the hugely impressive Titanic Museum in Belfast. The now iconic building in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter opened in 2012 . It has won numerous awards including the World’s Leading Attraction award at the World Travel Awards in 2016.
The Titanic experience charts the journey of the ill fated liner from construction through to it’s eventual sinking and the aftermath that followed. You can also take the The Discovery walking tour where you follow the in the footsteps of the men who built the Titanic. Or climb aboard the SS Nomadic, the last remaining White Star vessel.
3. Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum
We’re staying up north and heading just down the road from Belfast to the city of Lisburn. This impressive 18th century building is home to the Irish Linen Center and is something of a hidden gem. I highly recommend a trip here to discover all there is to know about Irish linen in their award-winning exhibition ‘Flax to Fabric: the Story of Irish Linen’.
5. The Little Museum of Dublin
We’ll end our journey back in the capital and another absolute gem when it comes to Irish museums. The Little Museum of Dublin opened it’s doors in 2011 and has quickly become one of the capital’s top tourist attractions. The Irish Times described it as “the best museum experience in Dublin”. The museum is located in a stunning Georgian house on St. Stephens Green and charts the history of our capital, featuring key events such the 1916 Rising and the JFK visit.
Well, that ‘s all from me for this week. If you fancy some retail therapy Irish style then there’s never been a better time to shop at The Irish Store. Our biggest ever clearance sale is now on Irish sweaters, Irish jewelry and Irish homewares with up to 75% off!
See you next week,
Slán go fóill!