As we were in Dublin for another event, me and my dad decided to visit a few museums as well. One of these museums was the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology ( Archaeology | National Museum of Ireland ) which is housed in a fabulous building in Kildare Street.
Neo-classical influences can be seen in the colonnaded entrance and the domed rotunda which rises to a height of 20 meters and is modelled on the Pantheon in Rome.
It is here where you find the museum shop. Within the rotunda are marble columns which were quarried in Counties Cork, Kilkenny, Galway,....
My first surprise of the day was the entrance fee - there wasn't any. For a museum of this caliber, I would have gladly paid an entrance fee, but of course no entrance fee is even better.
In the great centre court, a balcony is supported by rows of cast-iron columns with elaborate decorated bases and top-beams. On the balcony, further columns support the roof where beautiful decorated spandrels support the roof.
So after admiring the building, it was time to admire the many archaeological finds. But before we started our tour, we admired the beautiful mosaic floors in the rotunda.
On the groundfloor, you will find the following exhibitions:
Here you find one of Europe's most important gold collections. Beautiful crafted pieces of jewellery are on display. For example, gold dress fasteners, gold ribbon torcs,...
This exhibitions shows major religious artifacts of early and christian ireland. For example, there is the fabulous Ardagh Chalice which is one of the greastest treasures of the early Irish church. It was discovered as part of a hoard in the 19th century by a man digging potatoes in Ardagh.
The Faddan more Psalter:
This book of psalms was only discovered in 2006 by chance in a bog in Tipperary and has been skilfully preserved for future generations.
Prehistoric Ireland :
Here you can discover the tools and weapons used during the stone age to bronze age.
Kingship and sacrifice:
This room is just spectacular. Here you can come face to face with iron age bog bodies. It is amazing to see the detail of these bodies, from nails to hair, it has all been preserved .This exhibition focusses on human sacrifice and the disposition of bodies in bogs at the tribal bounderies.
Further exhibitions are hill of Tara, Viking Ireland, medieval Ireland, ancient Egypt,... If you find yourself in Dublin and you have some spare time, the National Museum of Ireland - Archeology should be on everybody's to do list.
About the Author
We are Peter & Dolores De Bie. We love the great outdoors, discovering new parts of the world and writing about our adventures along the Wild Atlantic Way and further afield