Dublin stands resolutely on Ireland’s East Coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey. Although it is home to more than a third of the population, Ireland’s dynamic capital city retains a lyrical village magic and a playfulness few other cities can match. The Craic Pubs and music are at the very heart of Dublin’s traditions and society. Just south of the river is the Temple Bar area, where locals and tourists have been meeting for generations.
Grafton Street is the place to feel the new energy of Dublin. Once filled with noisy traffic, today, this is a fun people zone lined with cafes, pubs, and shopping temptations. Grafton Street leads to St.Stephen’s Green.
On a sunny afternoon, this lush city park is an inviting world apart from the big city. Once a place for public whippings and hangings, today, it’s a cheery lunchtime escape for Dubliners. St.Stephen’s Green was enclosed in 1664 and gradually surrounded by fine Georgian buildings. Today, 19th-century Dublin appears as Georgian as any city in Britain. Georgian, the English term for Neoclassical, is named for the English kings of that era. Things were stately, uniform and symmetrical. The streets are a grid plan, with vistas built in. The only hint of playfulness comes from the fun colors. Locals say that after an English royal died, they were told to paint all the doors black in mourning. This sent the naughty Irish directly to the paint store.
To venture behind all these fancy facades, visit number 29 lower Fitz William street. Admission to this Dublin home from 1790, now a museum, comes with tours, giving an intimate glimpse at the elegance of Georgian life. The word “drawing room” is short for withdrawing room. So these are the rooms to which the family withdrew, when they had finished dining downstairs. Very often, near a fireplace, they had a pole screen, and this is a pole screen here and it was used to shape people’s faces from the heat of the fire because they used heavy wax-based makeup and that might run or melt close to the fire. The tour also shows the bedrooms and dressing rooms of this typical well-to-Georgian family.