The Dublin Castle is full of royal treasures; from a golden hilted sword to silver plated cutlery, the castle is home to items of great importance to Irish and European history. Taylor and I walked less than a block from our Dublin Castle Airbnb and purchased tickets to explore the State Apartments.
Our self-guided tour began at the “Connolly Room” where the Easter Rising icon James Connolly lay wounded as a prisoner of the British Empire. The gravity of his situation could nearly be felt as Taylor and I read the enormous infographic displays. Connolly would be executed for his role as an Irish Republican, but his memory and influence has defied death to this day in Ireland.
The next room held two items steeped in royal tradition and ceremony. The Irish Sword of State was commissioned in 1660 and hadn’t seen Irish shores for 95 years. Meticulous decorations trace the edges of the blade to its golden hilt where Ireland, England, and Scotland are symbolized. The second item was a gift to King George IV in 1821. The shamrock-shaped box made of Bog Oak is accented with gold and encrusted with diamonds and pearls. An Irish inscription reads ‘May God Bless You’.
As Taylor and I strolled through the lavish halls and rooms, we discovered countless artworks royal decoration, and exquisite furniture. Several perfectly decorated Christmas trees were still on display with gifts of unimaginable fortune stacked in front of a regal hearth.
As we continued, an exhibition of fine china, opulent utensils, and crystal glasses showed the typical table setting for a castle dinner. Large, featured oil paintings lined the walls of the gallery between the dining exhibition and St. Patrick’s Hall.
St. Patrick’s Hall was the last and most grand room Taylor and I stepped foot inside. The tall ceilings were painted with highly impressive scenes reminiscent of Michelangelo’s master work at the Sistine Chapel. Brilliant yellow columns frame windows and mirrors on respective sides of the Hall while a royal blue carpet and wallpaper serve as an accentuating background.
The Hall was the most grand room of our tour, but the the State Apartments of Dublin Castle are extravagant in their entirety. The Apartments not only satisfy those infatuated with royalty but satisfies those of us infatuated with history as well. Taylor and I spent about one and a half hours leisurely exploring each room and exhibit before hitting the streets of Dublin for the remainder of our day.