Dublin Castle – Ireland
DAY 8 – Dublin Castle is situated in the very heart of historic Dublin. The city got its name from the Dubh Linn or Black Pool (dubh means black), on the site of the present Castle Gardens and Coach House.
Dublin Castle’s history is extensive and many of the Castle’s functions adapted and changed over the centuries. It was always the centre of the English colonial administration and the Castle acted as the official residence of successive royal chief representatives such as Chief Lieutenant, Lord Lieutenant or Viceroy and visiting English Kings.
In 1565, thirty years after Henry VIII brought the Reformation to Ireland, the new Lord Deputy Henry Sidney moved his household into Dublin Castle. From that point on the Castle became the control centre for the vicious wars and religious persecution against the Irish Chieftains and the ‘Old English’ Catholics, many of whom were of Norman stock.
The whole island of Ireland had been conquered by the end of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, and new English landholding, political and social structures were imposed. In the disastrous fire of 7th April 1684 much of medieval Dublin Castle, including the old Parliament House, burnt down. Rebuilding works began and more stately accommodation replaced the medieval fortification. So began the modern era in the Castle’s history.
Today, Dublin Castle plays host to European Union Presidencies, Heads of State, leaders of business, industry and government. The Castle is also a key tourist attraction and it has conferencing facilities as well. The Drawing Room features Waterford crystal chandeliers. The State Apartments dominate the Southern Range of the Upper Castle Yard or Great Courtyard. They were formerly the private and public rooms of the Viceroys and the Viceregal Court, the seat of the executive and the focus of fashionable social life.