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Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin

(4.3/5 based on 65+ reviews on the web)
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
  • 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 »
  • This gateway is opposite the entrance to the goal.There is a tram stop for the hospital.There is a rather handsome art deco building just by the tram stop.  more »
Google
  • One of the most beautiful places in Dublin City and home to the Irish museum of modern art. Free entry.
  • Beautiful gardens and park with free entry into the Irish Museum of Modern Art, very near Heuston Train Station
  • Cool museum and event place
  • Wonderful spot, great gardens to walk around . Pop into patriot pub nearby to check out old cool photos of RHK when it was actually a hospital. Don't miss the grave of the horse in the corner. (Of RHK, not the pub!)
  • Beautiful place to visit in Dublin. Stunning gardens, incredible building with large outdoor art installations, and the MMA on-site as well.