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Voted "Europe's City of Culture" in 1991, Dublin offers a unique blend of marvellous history alongside the most contemporary and cosmopolitan society living in Europe. Dublin is buzzing with youthful energy and cultural enterprise. Attractions in Dublin are rich and varied, from ancient Celtic manuscripts to Internet Cafes. There is something for everyone in Dublin City.

Literature

Literature Dublin boasts of a literary heritage second to none, with a peerless collection of writers for which the City is renowned worldwide. To commemorate literature in Dublin, several excellent Museums and Libraries pay homage to some of the worlds greatest authors and poets. The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is the biggest and most wide-ranging literary award in the world. Library services from over 50 countries submit books to an international panel of judges. The Dublin Corporation Public Libraries Service administers the award, which has an annual prize of œ100,000. The Dublin Writers Museum was opened in 1991. Located in a magnificent 18th century building to the north of the city centre, the collection includes the works, lives and personal artefacts of Swift, Sheridan, Shaw, Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett. The museum also features a special room devoted to children's literature. James Joyce's immortal book on Dublin life, 'Ulysses', is presented along with his other works at the James Joyce Museum in Sandycove and at the James Joyce Centre in the City. George Bernard Shaw's birthplace in Synge Street has been restored to its former Victorian elegance and is open to the public. Ireland's greatest poet, William Butler Yeats, was born in Sandymount Avenue in the south-east of the city. Yeats and Shaw were both Nobel Prize winners for Literature. Marsh's Library, circa 1701, is the oldest public library in Ireland and home to the classics, law, theology and Greek, Latin and French literature. The Chester Beatty Library in Shrewsbury Road contains manuscripts, rare books and artefacts from the Middle and Far East, including 270 copies of the Koran and hand painted books from Tibet.

Gardens

Dublin has several magnificent gardens set in or close to the City centre. St Stephen's Green is a public park with charming gardens, a fountain and a lake close to the hub of Dublin's busy shopping precinct of Grafton Street. To the west of the city is Phoenix Park, 1,752 acres of formal gardens, expansive meadows and beautiful mature trees; with wild deer roaming the grounds. The Park is open daily to the public. The Gardens of Remembrance behind the Gate Theatre is dedicated to those who died in the cause for Irish freedom. The central feature of the garden is a sculpture of the 'Children of the Lir', one of Ireland's best loved legends. The National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin house a magnificent Victorian glasshouse full of exotic and tropical plants. The 49 acre gardens contain over 20,000 different plant species and a rare, colourful display of Victorian carpet bedding.

Art Galleries

There is a vibrant art scene in Dublin City. Temple Bar is home to many artisans and several contemporary art galleries. The Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art has a wide range of displays and exhibitions, including the donated Francis Bacon collection. The National Gallery of Ireland in Merrion Square West first opened its doors to the public in 1864. Today, the Gallery boasts of carrying over 10,000 multi-media works of art. The Irish Museum of Modern Art in Kilmainham presents an exciting collection of international and Irish modern multi-media art.

Family Attractions

Located in the heart of Phoenix Park, just 3km from the City centre is one of Dublin's most popular attractions - Dublin Zoo. Set in 30 acres of landscaped grounds, visitors are able to see animals from Africa, the Arctic and other parts of the world. Historical outings can be enjoyed at Dublin's Viking Adventure in Temple Bar and at Dublinia, a medieval recreation of the past. The National Wax Museum is fun for all the family, finding the famous and history's greats. For youngsters, The Children's World of Fairytale and Fantasy, is a firm favourite. The Natural History Museum in Merrion Street is full of zoological exhibits including Irish wildlife, African and Asian species and skeletons of two whales suspended from the roof. For train buffs, the Fry Model Railway in Malahide, is a delightful exhibit of a working railway over an area of 2,500 square feet.

 
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  Images supplied by Insight. Photographer Peter Zöller
Images supplied by, and copyright of, Dúchas The Heritage Service

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