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Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin

4.3
#15 of 35 in Historic Sites in Dublin
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 Traveler Rating
74 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We saw Green Day here a few weeks ago and traveled from New York for the show. What a cool venue! While you can't see the old hospital while at the concert, it was really pretty to walk through on the...  more »
  • We went to see Green Day a couple of weeks ago. It was our first time going to a gig at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. It was really well run. The facilities were very good. Although there was a big b...  more »
  • Beautiful for a walk on a sunny day! Fantastic venue for concerts. And the art gallery here is a must.  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.
  • Wonderful indoor and outdoor space the home of Ireland modern art
  • 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.
  • Stunning grounds to walk around.
  • Good venue. Poor toilet situation as usual but decent when the weather is good. Central enough too.

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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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