Dublin City of Living History
My favourite thing about Dublin is that it’s a city of living history. Now to some of you this may sound like some clever oxymoron but the same city that was seen through the eyes of some of the countries greatest thinkers, revolutionaries and writers is much the same as the Dublin city you see today. Years ago I was in Manchester and a friend pointed across the road and said “you see that Tesco Express over there? Well that used to be the club from 24 hour party people”. After freaking out a little and jumping up and down on the spot and yelling “sacrilege!” a couple of times, I calmed down enough to start thinking about Dublin.
I adore the fact that I can walk along O’Connell Street in Dublin and say “see that Post office ( GPO) over there, that’s the birthplace of the Irish Republic , scene of the 1916 Easter rising and it was a post office back then and it’s still a post office today!€ I mean don’t get me wrong museums and statues are wonderful and everything but seeing the bullet holes in the columns of the enigmatic G.P.O as you stroll inside can’t be beaten. When you stroll inside you’re not surrounded by slack-jaw tourists waving around selfie sticks. It’s a regular post office with regular people posting letters just as they did almost a hundred years ago days before one of the most vital revolutions in Irish history. The floors and decor of this beautiful and enigmatic building are not perfect like those of museums. This is a working building it’s a real honest to goodness piece of living history. There are scuff marks on the floor and it shows signs of wear and tear everywhere. This building hasn’t just been consigned to stagnate in the history books; this building is still making history.
The same is true in many parts of Dublin City ; you can take a walk inside the Bank of Ireland outside Trinity College. The
former home of the Irish Parliament will impress even the most seasoned tourist. This enigmatic building was sold following the Act of Union in 1801 which abolished the Irish Parliament. The building was purchased by the bank of Ireland in 1803 and still functions as the largest branch in the city to this very day. It always amazes me how you can just stroll inside, check your balance or even withdraw money in this astonishing building. It used to be where I went to read a book until security got it into their heads that I was casing the joint
Taking a stroll through Trinity you can see students dash from building to building much like their famous predecessors including Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde and my personal favourite Jonathan Swift would have. They study in the very same classrooms walk the same grounds with exactly the same purpose and thirst for knowledge. In many ways Dublin reminds me of Jurassic Park, granted it’s not nearly as dangerous or exciting, and the only Dinosaurs you have to worry about are the ones running the country. It’s not a recreation or a polished museum exhibit, it’s as it was then living, breathing, continuing to make history. As mad as that all sounds that is my favourite thing about Dublin. Come and find out what your favourite thing is about Dublin here at Isaacs Hostel
Daniel McGuire (Aka Fluffy)