Stoker, Wilde and Pearse
Dublin is an amazing city, filled with history and culture. The title of this blog post refers to some of the literary and political contributed to this side of the city, and I found following in their footsteps to be an enchanting experience. This first of two Dublin centred posts will focus on the older side of the city – stay tuned next week for a tour of the buzzing contemporary side of Dublin.
I was beyond excited to visit the city of Dublin; having been enticed by tales of stunning architecture, curious alleys, fascinating history and friendly faces. I enjoyed all these things and more during my time spent there. It was an especially important time historically to be in the city, with a number of events and special exhibits to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising. The city had come alive with history to mark the event, with the streets and buildings themselves becoming the best possible museum to tell the story of the rising, with huge graphic novels adorning the side of buildings and plaques marking the locations of key events.
Exploring the city to take in this episode of Ireland’s history also allowed us to take in the spiffing old architecture, from the medieval castle to the Georgian terraces of Merrion Square, Fitzwilliam Street and more. These and many more terraces across provide the walking route to gaze at the beautiful colours and details of the Doors of Dublin. The world famous design gems looked simply sublime in the spring sunshine, and meant that looking a slightly different direction could present an entirely different view filled with bright colours and intricate design. Exploring Dublin’s doors is a must for anyone, especially those with an eye for design and aesthetics.
As well as being the site of some of the city’s prettiest architecture, Merrion Square is also a key site in Dublin’s literary history. The home of Oscar Wilde can be seen at number 1, while that of William Butler Yeats is found at number 82. The memorial to Wilde is brilliant; the statue is in fitting with his aestheticism and the columns in front of it are engraved with some his finest quotes – with my personal favourite being: “Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets.”
Dublin has, not unsurprisingly, a vast selection of pubs. While some of these are somewhat over the top in their overtly Irish theme, there are some absolute gems to be found. Victorian boozer The Stag’s Head looked like something straight from the pages of Bram Stoker’s gothic writing. It’s elegantly quirky Victorian interior and wide selection of drinks made it a great place for an afternoon tipple, and as we sipped on these we could have easily discussed hauntings and apparitions as what to do next with our day!
Dublin is a wonderful destination for history and culture lovers, and I hope that here I have managed to give you a good introduction some of the historical, literical and cultural paths one can take through the city. Do keep your eyes peeled next week, for a whistlestop tour of Dublin’s more contemporary side; from art shops to vegan food markets.