The Great Courtyard


Today we begin in the Great Courtyard or Upper Castle Yard of Dublin Castle.  It dates back to 1204 and was once the enclosure of King John’s Castle.


It is an immense rectangle that, for today at least, is displaying some very cool sand art:


The most eye-catching building in this courtyard is Bedford Tower:


Just to give you an idea of the architectural hodge-podge I talked about yesterday, the various buildings that now make up this rectangle are the Bedford Tower (1761), International Conference Center (1989), West Range Suite (1761), State Apartments (1680-1830), Norman Tower (1226), Chapel Royal (1814), and Undercroft (934 and 1234). The Chester Beatty Library, Treasury Building and Ship Street Army Barracks round out the compound by flanking the castle yard to the south, surrounding the Duhblinn Gardens. 

Since parts of the castle are government offices, you can only visit by a guided tour. It turns out to be great tour and my guide, in her melodic lilt, gives a fantastic recap of Dublin’s history. Let’s do this tomorrow…


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