The City Hall, Dublin, originally the Royal Exchange, is a civic building in Dublin, Ireland. It was built between 1769 and 1779 to the designs of architect Thomas Cooley and is a notable example of 18th-century architecture in the city.OverviewLocated at the top of Parliament Street on the city's southern side, it stands next to Dublin Castle, the centre of British government in Ireland until 1922. The street had been built in 1753, providing a continuation of Capel Street on the north bank of the Liffey, across the newly widened Essex Bridge, and so the exchange ended (and still ends) a long streetscape.The external structure is primarily made out of white Portland stone from a quarry in Dorset. The large size and fine fittings of the Royal exchange, with carved capitals by Simon Vierpyl, and plasterwork by the leading stuccodore Charles Thorpe, reflect the standing and prestige of Dublin in the 18th Century. The neo-classical building contains a central entrance hall or Rotunda, with a large dome supported by twelve columns which is surrounded by an ambulatory where the merchants strolled and discussed business meetings.The function of the building was to provide a meeting place for Dublin's businessmen, where they could buy and sell goods and trade bills of exchange. It was also close to the then Customs House that stood on the site of today's Clarence Hotel, making it convenient for overseas merchants. The cost of building the exchange was met by the Parliament of Ireland, and this is reflected by the initials "SPQH", standing for "Senatus PopulusQue Hibernicus", meaning "The senate and people of Ireland" (an Irish version of SPQR).
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City Hall Reviews
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  • August 6, 2017
    It marked the introduction of the Neo-Classical style of architecture to Ireland. Its dome is supported by 12 columns and has 12 elegant circular windows. Impressive building. Didn't spend much time i...  more »
  • August 6, 2017
    This free exhibit, just outside of Dublin Castle, is interesting and nicely organized with storyboards and artifacts of city government.  more »
  • August 2, 2017
    This magnificent neoclassical building, in the shape of a square and surmounted by a dome was built in the Palladian style for the Dublin stock exchange and then decayed. Town Hall with great wisdom acquired it and took care of recovery returning it to its former glory of its entrance colonnades and Rotunda surmounted by a dome, elegant in its mosaics, crystals and in his columns, which is home to large Irish patriots commemorative statues, almost a modern Pantheon.
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  • February 4, 2017
    Wait, this is overrated! Just go if you are nearby, but otherwise it is not worth it! You can only see the ground floor which is actually kind of empty (at least when I was there). Architecture is stunning though!
  • March 27, 2017
    Lovely spot in the centre of Town that covers the history of Dublin. The rotunda is stunning
  • January 20, 2017
    Wonderful semi hidden gem. Exhibition on history of Dublin on ground floor is fascinating. Great place to start exploring Dublin from.
  • November 27, 2016
    Absolutely stunning venue. Got married here and the staff went far beyond their required duties to make the day perfect. Cannot praise them highly enough.
  • February 15, 2017
    This is a civic building in Dublin. It is a great example of 18th century Irish architecture and a must-visit.

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Where to stay in Dublin

Dublin offers everything from luxury hotels to eclectic guesthouses. Explore over 1,000 years of history in the city on foot by staying at one of the hotels or hostels in the city center. The south side of the river has always been a popular place to stay, particularly near Temple University or the tourist nightlife center Temple Bar, but a new crop of attractive options has popped up on the north side as well. For more affordable accommodations, try a hostel or make your way toward St. Stephen's Green for a more comfortable stay at a mid-range hotel. If the artistic spirit of Dublin is what beckoned you, spend your holiday in a guesthouse near the creative Lower Gardiner Street.
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