Kilmainham Gaol- Personally I am very much interested in a place’s history. It makes me understand the place more and enjoy what it is now. The problem with liking history so much is the fact that you will have to deal with the bad stuff as well meaning yu will deal with death a lot of times. After all, history is full of dead people. The best thing to hope for is that you will at least be learning stuff about interesting dead people and not just common dead people.
Kilmainham Gaol is as historic as it gets as far as significant deaths are concerned. Basically, the Kilmainham is a jail where a lot of the people who fought for Ireland’s independence were incarcerated. Those people were executed in it including James Connolly, no relation to Kevin Connolly, who was shot while sitting or strapped to a chair. All this happened in 1916 and is likewise important because it is the best preserved Victorian jail in Europe.
In a way, the Kilmainham Gaol is similar to Alcatraz in the United States. It has been the prison of choce for the worst types of criminals and in a sense, this was the reason the rebels were put here. They were here as an insult to their cause because they were treated like a common criminal and not people who tried to fight for the independence.
The place has its own dramas especially if you know of specific events here. One such incidence is the marriage between Joseph Plunkett and Grace. If you’re asking what a wedding ceremony is doing in a place like this, the answer is that Mr. Plunkett was executed just a few hours after the marriage. Talk about heartbreak!
2) Dublin Castle – In every country I visit, I always make it a point to see the seat of power. It doesn’t have to be the current one, mind you, and in fact, the older the better. In the United States of course it’s the White House and in the United States, it’s Browning Street or the Buckingham Palace. In Ireland, one of the previous ones is the Dublin Castle. How majestic isn’t it? Actually no. The Dublin Castle is actually a very inconspicuous place. It pales in comparison to the Buckingham Palace yet it is every bit as important.
The Castle is on Dame Street and you would find it between Trinity College and Christ Church Cathedral. It is not exactly easy to find as it is slightly secluded. The structures itself tell a tale of how old it is. There are two towers from the 13th century and there are also parts of government buildings dating back to the 18th. This is, afterall, is a government building. There are housing areas for the officials who stayed there.
Of course if you are looking for a majestic castle like you see in the movies, you would be thoroughly disappointed. The allure of this place is not its beauty but the past power that it possessed. This Anglo-Norman castle was the center of Irish Power for many years and is definitely one of the best things to see here.