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Aran Inspired

Casino Marino

Located off the beaten tourist trail on the Dublin's northside, Casino Marino is one of Ireland's best examples of neoclassical architecture. The Italian name means "little house by the sea" -- this is not a gambling establishment! One of this attraction's charms is its use of trompe l'oil architectural techniques -- designs that literally trick the eye. For example, the exterior of the 50-foot square structure surprises viewers because it appears so small from the outside, and appears as a single roomed building. However, the interior contains 16 finely decorated rooms on three floors.

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Newbridge House and Farm

Newbridge House is a beautiful 18th century manor, with adjoining parklands, open farm and playground, situated 12 miles / 20 km north of Dublin centre. A 400-acre wooded estate, the Newbridge House demesne opened as County Dublin Regional Park in 1986. The overall estate includes a variety of landscapes that include pastureland, woodland, watercourses, and pleasure grounds. While the house itself is popular with visitors, the main attractions at Newbridge House demesne are the parklands and the playgrounds.

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Skerries Mills

A popular interactive attraction, Skerries Mills is a four-storey museum featuring two working windmills and a watermill. The venue aims to preserve the history of mills in Ireland. The mill attracts a broad mix of visitors, including families with children, while its cafe is popular with locals. Located in a scenic coastal town 30 kilometres / 18.5 miles north of Dublin City, visitors can explore the workings of an authentic 16th-century mill complex, which include: Five-sail windmill, Thatched four-sail Windmill, Watermill, Bakery, Mill pond and Wetland.

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National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology

The historical and archaeological treasures of Ireland are housed in this extraordinary Victorian building. Admission is FREE to this wonderful attraction, which is capped by a beautiful, 62-foot high dome. The floor inside has a detailed mosaic of the zodiac. The museum itself was established in 1890. Over the last century and a half, it has accumulated treasures that range from Ireland's prehistoric times; through the Celtic and Gaelic eras of clans and chieftains; then the various medieval periods, including the Viking and Norman invasions; through modern Irish history and struggle for independence, up to the present day.

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Marsh's Library

Built in 1705, Dublin's Marsh's Library is one of the world's longest-surviving public libraries and is an attraction that particularly appeals to book lovers. Located not far from Christ Church Cathedral on St. Patrick's Close, almost hidden behind St. Patrick's Cathedral, the library today is still open to the public, and is one of Dublin's true hidden gems. When Archbishop of Dublin Narcissus Marsh (1638-1713) decided to open a public library, the concept -- allowing ordinary people access to expensive books for free -- was relatively radical. The idea has spread from England, where public libraries had sprouted up in industrious cities such as Bristol, Ipswich and Norwich. Chetham library in Manchester, built in 1653, has the title of the world's oldest remaining public library. Marsh's is still a library but has not added new books since the 18th century, and is more like a museum today.

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The National Gallery

The national collection of Irish artwork numbers more than 500, with the focus on Irish artists and their varied talents. But visitors to the National Gallery will find a broad selection of European treasures as well, representative of each of the most popular schools of painting. The National Gallery opened in 1864, on the west side of Merrion Square amid a series of civic buildings, and displays a collection ranging in date from the 14th to the 20th centuries. The building was designed by Francis Fowke, who conceived the design for London's Victoria & Albert Museum.

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Dublin Zoo

Located in Phoenix Park just past People’s Garden, Dublin Zoo holds the distinction of being the third oldest public zoo in the world. Only those in London and Paris have been in existence longer. The zoo measures 59 acres. By way of a comparison, it is almost twice the size of London zoo (36 acres), but less than a quarter the size of New York's Bronx zoo (265 acres). Dublin zoo contains more than 235 species of wild animals and tropical birds, with an overall population of over 700 animals. The zoo is organised into various zones and houses that match the habitats of the animals.

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Kilmainham Gaol

This famous prison has captured a special place in the history of the Irish struggle for independence. Known for incarcerating many famous figures, the building was erected in 1789, and its long existence has given it plenty of time to witness the unfolding story of the entire country. With rebellions taking place in 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867, 1883 and 1916, there were plenty of inmates to tell their stories within its imposing walls. Perhaps Kilmainham Gaol’s most famous occupant was Eamon de Valera, the future president of Ireland, released July 16, 1924, shortly before the gaol was closed permanently. Kilmainham Gaol is most famously remembered as the place where the fourteen leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916 were executed. The prison facilities are open to the public via guided tour only.

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National Museum - Decorative Arts & History (Collins Barracks)

Built in 1704, Collins Barracks served as a military base for 290 years before becoming the Decorative Arts and History wing of the National Museum of Ireland. Today, admission is FREE to this popular attraction, consisting of thirteen exhibitions distributed around a central courtyard, where British and subsequently Irish soldiers once paraded. Pace markings, used to help army recruits learn drill movements, are still visible on the courtyard walls. The permanent exhibitions in the museum, listed below, display over 10,000 items of Irish culture, heritage and national history, with a focus on arts, design and military history. Visitors will find a nice café and gift shop on the site.

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Custom House

Completed in 1791, this structure, with its beautiful classical façade, is one of Dublin's most prominent waterfront buildings. Designed by prominent Irish architect James Gandon, who also designed the impressive Four Courts further along the River Liffey, the Custom House is a product of the highest point in the history of Ireland's port development.

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