They say you haven’t “truly” experienced Guinness until you’ve had it in Dublin. Many moons ago, I was lucky enough to check that off my bucket list. In fact, I think I may have had a few too many Guinness during my time in Ireland, since I somehow managed to miss a few of these Guinness-inspired sites suggested by the good folks at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.
Founded in 1592, Trinity Collage is the oldest university in the country. It’s also home to one of the oldest libraries in all of Europe, and it houses a copy of every book published in Ireland and the UK. The college’s ‘Brian Boru’ harp is the very same one that Guinness modelled its logo after.
Quirky Fact: Tread lightly — superstition has it that any student who walks underneath the Campanile at the front of Trinity College Tradition while the bell rings will fail their annual exams.
Bank of Ireland
Completed in 1739, the building served as the first purpose-built parliament house in Europe. Guided tours allow visitors to inspect the detailed ceiling along with its 1,233 piece crystal chandelier. Arthur Guinness II became the Governor of the Bank of Ireland back in 1820.
Quirky Fact: The Bank of Ireland building served as inspiration for the designs of the British Museum in London, and parts of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Located on the highest point of ground point in the city, Dublin Castle was once protected by a natural boundary at the junction of the River Liffey and its tributary, now underground. In the 1770s, Arthur Guinness was appointed official brewer to the castle.
Quirky Fact: Dublin derives its name from the location of Dublin Castle. Dubh Linn, which in Old Irish Gaelic means “Black Pool” refers to a pool that was once on the site of the Dublin Castle Garden.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral
If you’re wondering why a large statue of Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness now stands at the entrance to the cathedral, it’s because he funded a complete restoration of this Dublin landmark in 1860.
Quirky Fact: Saint Patrick himself is said to have converted Pagans to Christianity at pool near the site of the cathedral.
Tucked away along the side of St. Patrick’s Cathedral is Ireland’s very first public library, built in 1701 by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh, and restored by Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness.
Quirky Fact: Look closely and you can find a book with a bullet hole in it. It was the victim of the 1916 rebellion when someone fired through the window, lodging the bullet in its binding.
Iveagh Trust Buildings
Sir Edward Cecil Guinness didn’t spend his time holed up in his estate sipping his brew — he was a man of the people. In 1890 he established a trust that provided housing and other amenities for working class Dubliners. His trust made it possible for the replacement of dilapidated tenement buildings in the city centre, as well as the creation of a men’s hostel and a kid’s play centre.
Quirky Fact: Eddie C. also established Iveagh Market — the first indoor market in Dublin.
St. Stephen’s Green
St. Stephen’s Green is a 27-acre public park in Dublin’s city centre, but it wasn’t alway public. In 1877 Sir Arthur Guinness spearheaded a campaign to open the land to the public, successfully overseeing an act of Parliament to do so, and even paying for the gardens and ponds out of his own money.
Quirky Fact: Up until the 1770s, St. Stephen’s Green was site of most of Dublin’s public hangings and executions.
And on that note…it’s time for some prizes!
Win a Guinness Prize Pack
To enter for a chance to win the Guinness Prize Pack (value $125 CAD), it only takes a couple of steps:
1) Take a quick peek at the Guinness Storehouse website: Guinness Storehouse
2) Answer the skill-testing question & submit your email address here:
Note: Contest is open to Canadian residents aged 18+ only.
That’s it! Until next time, I’ll leave you with this Irish saying…
“May you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience, and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint!”
Note: this contest was sponsored by Guinness Storehouse