Heritage hot spots: History, nature, art, environment
What is it?Dublinia is a popular heritage centre that explores Viking and medieval Dublin. Housed in the 19th-century former Church of Ireland synod hall at Christ Church, it offers self-guided tours through three storeys of exhibits; then you cross the landmark bridge on St Michael’s Hill into the cathedral itself.
Why visit?The reconstructed Viking boats, house interiors, streetscape, crafts – the Vikings brought weaving to Ireland – and weapons are brought to life by the Deilg Inis Living History actors, between 11.30am and 3.30pm at weekends during the summer.
The section on medieval Dublin explains how a water system was introduced to the city and explains other aspects of Dublin life. It also features a scale model of the city around the time that St Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin Castle were built.
The third floor is dedicated to archaeology, with an excavation site and artefacts on loan from the National Museum of Ireland.
Why now?Dublinia has numerous summer events. For Today and tomorrow, for example, visitors can join a guided tour of medieval Dublin, at 2.30pm, that includes the 120-step climb to the top of nearby St Michael’s Tower to view the medieval streetscape and buildings still visible today.
On the archaeology side, children can join in dig workshops and hunt for archeological artefacts every Saturday in August at 11am and 2pm. Adults can join a Curator’s Choice tour at noon every second Friday during the summer.
Children and adults alike can try on Viking and medieval costumes, feel how heavy slave chains were around the neck, or put on a hard hat and be an archaeologist next Saturday and Sunday at 11.30am and 2.30pm.
Dublinia is also holding a medieval fair at 11.30am and 2.30pm each day during the summer.
Where is it?Dublinia is on St Michael’s Hill, across the road from Christ Church, in the medieval heart of Dublin. It is open 10am-5pm daily. Admission costs €7.50 for adults, €5 for children, €6.50 for students and concessions, and €23 for families; 01-6794611, dublinia.ie.