The original Anglo-Norman castle was constructed in the 13th century on a site previously settled by the Vikings but it was destroyed in a fire in 1684.
Sir William Robinson then developed plans for a re-build. Without major defensive installations and with an eye on providing the government with a fine contemporary home. Thus present-day Dublin Castle was born. And visitors will usually only notice the Record Tower as being truly medieval. The adjoining "Chapel Royal" (rather its replacement, the Church of the Most Holy Trinity) was only finished in 1814 and is about 600 years younger - but with a beautiful neo-gothic exterior and a hundred intricately carved heads.
When viewed from the park (which has a gigantic "Celtic" spiral ornament doubling as a helipad) the strange mixture of styles becomes evident. On the left the 13th-century Bermingham Tower was converted into a supper room, brightly colored but uninspiring facades follow, then the romantic Octagonal Tower (from 1812), the Georgian State Apartments and the Record Tower (with the Garda Museum in the basement) and the Chapel round the ensemble off. The inner yards are dominated by brickwork, quite a contrast.
The State Apartments, Undercroft, Chapel Royal, Craft Shop, Heritage Centre and Restaurant are open to visitors. (Be aware that Dublin Castle can be closed at very short notice for Government business).
Location: Situated in the City Centre off Dame St., behind City Hall, 5 minutes walk from Trinity College en-route to Christchurch.
Bus Routes: 54 (Burgh Quay), 50, 50A, 56A, 77, 77A, 77B (Aston Quay)