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Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin

(70 reviews on the web)
Architectural Building Historic Site
The Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Kilmainham, Dublin, is one of the finest 17th-century buildings in Ireland.HistoryThe hospital was built in 1684 by Sir William Robinson, official State Surveyor General for James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to King Charles II, as a home for retired soldiers and continued in that use for over 250 years. The style is based on Les Invalides in Paris with a formal facade and a large courtyard. The Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, London was completed two years later and also has similarities in style. A priory, founded in 1174 by Strongbow, existed on the site until the English closed it down in the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s.The Richmond Tower at the end of the formal avenue leading to the Royal Hospital was designed by Francis Johnston, one of the leading architects of the day. This gateway originally stood beside the river Liffey at Bloody Bridge (now Rory O'More Bridge), but had to be moved after the arrival of the railway in 1844 increased traffic congestion (obviously not new to Dublin). He had placed his personal coat of arms above the arch, concealed by a piece of wood painted to match the stone, his idea being that his arms would be revealed to future generations after the wood became rotten. However, his little trick was uncovered when the gateway was taken down for removal. The coat of arms at present on the gateway is that of the Royal Hospital.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • On a wet Sunday afternoon, met with Guide Paul, and had a wonderful tour of this old graveyard, which is usally locked. Paul was an excellent guide and we really enjoyed it. The rest of the Building i...  more »
  • I have never been all that comfortable with the use of this fantastic building as a modern art gallery. Today's visit confirmed that. Real pity that the Dining Hall & chapel are not generally open. St...  more »
  • The hospital is steeped in history, and after its refurbishment, is now the Museum of Modern Art. If you are into Modern Art, this might be for you. I’m not, so I will say nothing negative about the e...  more »
Google
  • No free tours anymore. I followed the advice from the leaflet that sending an email to Paul F O'Brien. He is a rude person and saying that there is no tour anymore. I am completely disappointed with that and will never come to this place again.
  • I didn't have an opportunity to go inside the Royal Hospital, but the gardens outside were beautiful, and a calm, quiet spot to enjoy the moment.
  • Wonderful indoor and outdoor space the home of Ireland modern art
  • Stunning grounds to walk around.
  • Good venue. Poor toilet situation as usual but decent when the weather is good. Central enough too.