Monday 21 February 2000
Highlights: Trinity College, the old Irish Parliament House, the fantastic Guinness Brewery.
We woke up to a beautiful day so good in fact we decided to chance it without our raincoats. Jon had a small dispute with a fellow guest at the hostel over which bed he should be in.
We walked down to Trinity College which houses over 9,500 students. Until the 1970s Catholics did not attend this Protestant institution, at first they couldn’t and later the Catholic Church forbade it. The university was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I.
The buildings are fantastic, a highlight of the University is the Book of Kells dating from 800 AD. unfortunately it was undergoing repair work today which happens at a lot of historic sites but is necessary to ensure they still exist for future generations.
We then visited the Bank of Ireland. The bank is in what used to be the Irish Parliament building until the Act of Union in 1801. The old House of Lords is till fairly well maintained. An interesting fact was just before the Parliament was abolished one person voted in six members of the House of Commons. This was possible because only people who owned land could vote, an this individual owned all the land in six electorates.
We walked down Temple Bar and viewed the various pubs with interest for later tonight.
Next of the agenda was Dublin Castle. Built in 1204 it has mostly served as a palace and home to the Viceroys of Ireland. When the Republic of Ireland was formed in1922 the British Government handed over the castle to the new airship Government. Today it is used for State Receptions and since 1938 the swearing in of the President. The former Knights of St Patrick used to meet in St Patrick’s Hall.
We then moved on to Christ Church Cathedral followed by St Patrick’s Cathedral. The most surprising point is that both these Cathedrals at not Catholic despite 95% of the population are. The Cathedrals were Catholic until Henry VIII’s reformation of church’s in his Kingdom. At that time the Church of Ireland became Protestant. When Ireland got its independence in 1922 the Cathedrals did not pass back. Both Cathedrals are careful to invite all Christian faiths in.
A tour of the Guinness Brewery was next up :). The tour covered all the advertising slogans and methods used and some very extremely funny. The tour also included a history of Guinness and how it is made. The tour finished with a pint of the beautiful black stuff. We finished the day by supporting several local pubs including the 1613 ‘The Brazen Head’ for several Guinness, I’ve learned to loved this stuff.