Dublin has a rich heritage, which is reflected in the diverse range of museums in the Dublin City area, including:
Chester Beatty Library
Situated in the heart of Ireland’s capital city, the Chester Beatty Library is an art museum and library which houses the great collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and some decorative arts assembled by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968). The Library’s exhibitions open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. Its rich collection from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe offers visitors a visual feast. Chester Beatty Library was named Irish Museum of the year in 2000 and was awarded the title European Museum of the Year in 2002.
Egyptian papyrus texts, beautifully illuminated copies of the Qur’an, the Bible, European medieval and renaissance manuscripts are among the highlights of the collection. Turkish and Persian miniatures and striking Buddhist paintings are also on display, as are Chinese dragon robes and Japanese woodblock prints. In its diversity, the collection captures much of the richness of human creative expression from about 2700 BC to the present day.
The GAA Museum was established to commemorate, recognise and celebrate the GAA’s enormous contribution to Irish sporting, cultural and social life since its foundation in 1884. Located in Croke Park, GAA headquarters, the museum is open daily throughout the year.
The GAA Museum, situated under the Cusack Stand in Croke Park, was first opened in September 1998 by An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. The GAA Museum looks at the birth and growth of the GAA at home and abroad, and its unique role in the national movement and cultural revival in Ireland.
Garda Siochana Museum
The Garda Síochána Museum is the museum of the Republic of Ireland’s national police force. It is located in Dublin Castle.
The museum contains a vast amount of both archival and artefactual material, relating not only to the Garda Síochána, but also to the Irish Constabulary, The Royal Irish Constabulary, The Dublin Police, and The Dublin Metropolitian Police.
The James Joyce Centre
The James Joyce Centre is dedicated to promoting an understanding of the life and works of James Joyce. In doing so, the Centre strives to be an integral contributor to the network of institutions which celebrate Ireland’s rich cultural heritage. The James Joyce Centre provides the casual visitor, student and scholar alike with a rewarding and memorable experience.
The Centre’s home is a restored 18th century Georgian townhouse in the north inner city of Dublin, the city of Joyce’s birth and the setting for all his works. From this central location in Joyce’s heartland the Centre aims – through a programme of exhibition, education, outreach and activities – to foster an appreciation of this most remarkable and significant literary figure of the 20th century.
National Library of Ireland
The National Library of Ireland was designed in a classical style by the Cork-born architect, Thomas Deane. The purpose-built library building was opened in 1890.
The Library building is itself in many respects a national treasure. It is spacious in design and rich in texture, with fine craftsmanship in masonry, marble, hardwoods and glass.
Hugh Lane Gallery
At 4pm on 20th January 1908 Hugh Lane opened the first metropolitan gallery of contemporary art in the world. In doing so he accomplished what he set out to achieve, a gallery of modern art for Dublin, where the best international and Irish paintings hang side by side in what the French newspaper Le Figaro described as “an entire museum rich in beautiful works, a museum envied by the most prosperous states…”
Now Dublin City Hugh Lane Gallery houses the foremost public collection of modern and contemporary art in Ireland. The original collection donated by Hugh Lane and his supporters, is celebrated for including some of the most famous Impressionist paintings in the world most notably Les Parapluies by Renoir.
Built in 1792, it is Ireland’s most famous disused prison. It held throughout the years many famous Nationalists and Republicans in members of the Society of United Irishmen (1798), Young Irelanders (c1840s), Fenians and Land agitators, Parnell, Davitt. The leaders of the 1916 Ester Rising were executed here. The prison was closed in 1924. This building gives a good insight into the history of Irish Republicanism.
Gallery of Photography
The Gallery of Photography was established by John Osman in 1978 and it is Ireland’s premier venue for photography. The Gallery is situated in the heart of Temple Bar in Dublin. Gallery of Photography is a not-for-profit organisation and it is supported by Dublin City Council and the Arts Council.
The Irish Museum of Modern Art is Ireland’s leading national institution for the collection and presentation of modern and contemporary art. The Museum presents a wide variety of art in a dynamic programme of exhibitions, which regularly includes bodies of work from its own Collection and its award-winning Education and Community Department. It also creates more widespread access to art and artists through its Studio and National programs.