Wednesday, 22, October 2014
Things To Do on A Rainy Day in Dublin
We can be blessed with long, summer days, when restaurant tables spill into the streets and the days stretch long into the night. Or with a crisp, autumnal afternoon with bright blue skies and chilly air. But we’re no strangers to a good bit of rainfall.
However, there’s still plenty to do when the weather isn’t on your side. Joseph Downing, Guest Relations Manager in The Westbury, knows the city inside out, and has some great ideas for how to spend a rainy day in the city.
The National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology
This sprawling museum has a wide collection of exhibits, one of the most popular being the incredible preserved bog bodies. There’s also a Viking skeleton, and a collection dedicated to the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, including weaponry and religious treasures. According to Joseph, the treasury room is comparable to the one in St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, and is certainly a bit of eye candy on a dull day.
Location: Kildare Street, Dublin 2
The Hugh Lane Gallery
Up on Parnell Square, the Hugh Lane is the municipal gallery of the city, with an interesting back story. The original collection was gathered by Sir Hugh Lane in 1908, and is the first known public gallery of modern art in the world. Born in Cork and raised in England, Lane remained in close contact with Ireland, frequently visiting the home of his aunt, Lady Gregory, in Co. Galway. Tragically, Lane died on board the Lusitania in 1915, and thus began a battle over the paintings which he had collected. Lane had loaned his paintings to the National Gallery in London, who had claimed that the collection was bequeathed to them. After a lengthy battle, the collection was split in half between the two galleries, with the paintings periodically switching homes.
As well as the rich and varied history of the gallery, Joseph loves one exhibit in particular. “The best thing in there is Frances Bacon’s studio, which was brought over piece by piece from London. There’s a tiny glass cube you walk into, from where you can see his crumpled up bits of paper, banana skins and such. It’s quite the sight.”
Location: Charlemont House, Parnell Square North , Dublin 1
The National Museum of Ireland – Natural History
Known to Dubliners as the “Dead Zoo”, the museum dates back to 1857, with an exhibition that has changed little in the years since. Home to 10,000 exhibits, the museum aims to explore and represent the natural world. The museum was restored in recent years and reopened in 2010, with the grand stone staircase available for visitors for the first time in years.
“The building itself is really lovely”, says Joseph. “What I love is that the cedarwood, or whatever they’ve used for the flooring, has perfumed, so you get this wonderful smell when you walk in. That is very unique to Dublin, and kids love it as much as adults.”
Location: Merrion Street, Dublin 2.
[images courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland]