Dublin, Ireland, is the Irish capital and largest city. The Medieval Quarter includes two of Ireland’s great churches: St Patrick’s Cathedral which dates from the 12th century and contains the tomb of Jonathan Swift, among other notables, and Christ Church Cathedral, whose origins are even older. The stonework in the latter is particularly impressive.
Just east of the medieval quarter is Dublin Castle. This complex dates to the early 13th century and, as a royal residence, is worthy of a look inside. Nearby is Trinity College, which, besides being a world-famous center of learning, contains the Book of Kells, a manuscript of the four Gospels, in Latin, which is thought to have been published in about 800 A.D. and is, therefore, the oldest significant text from early Celtic Christianity (one page per day is turned for public viewing). The college itself is picturesque with cobbled squares, elegant buildings, and pleasant gardens.
The Guinness Brewery (although tours are no longer conducted) and the General Post Office, which figured prominently in Ireland’s struggle for independence, are also worth a look. St Stephen’s Green and Phoenix Park are two “green” areas within the city limits which offer a quiet alternative to the hustle and bustle of the city.
Don’t forget to spend some time in several of Dublin’s numerous Irish Pubs.
While on the campus of Trinity College, see the Dublin Experience, a 45-minute multi-media show which documents the history of Dublin. It can serve as a great introduction to the city for first-timers.