Dublin is a city steeped in a personality all of its own, it has emerged as a hub for cheap flights, traditional Irish pubs, nightlife, and friendly Dubliners. I love this city, and I can’t recommend a visit here enough.
Boardwalks of Liffey
Geographically, the capital is divided in two halves. The city life has been developed around the River Liffey, I found following the river was a good way to start the visit as it’s crossed by many iconic bridges and you will pass by famous buildings, for example, the Custom House and the Convention Centre.
From a photographer’s point of view, the most interesting bridges are the Ha’penny bridge, the Seán O’Casey Bridge and the Samuel Beckett Bridge. The last mentioned being architect Santiago Calatrava (I’ll do a blog post about his work soon), the designer of a number of innovative bridges and buildings in the world. This is the second bridge in the area designed by him, the shape of the spar and its cables evoke an image of a harp lying on its edge, the harp being the national symbol for Ireland since the middle ages.
When the river is calm, and the weather not windy, you can take pictures from the reflections in the water of the building and bridges. It brings added value to the composition of your pictures.
New face of Dublin – The Grand Canal Square
Continue to the new part of the city around the Grand Canal Square where the major tech companies (Facebook Twitter, Linkedin, Apple…) have their European headquarters. The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre is an architectural jewel built by in 2010 and designed by Daniel Libeskind, it’s a real photographic playground due to it’s uncommon architecture and reflections, also, at night the place takes on another dimension with multicolor neon lights and the red tubes illuminated the space differently in contrast to the daytime.
The Trinity College library – Harry Potter atmosphere guaranteed!
The Trinity College Library was founded in 1592 and it is the oldest university in Ireland. The main chamber of the Old Library is the Long Room; at nearly 65 metres in length, and 2 floors filled with 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books, it is one of the most impressive libraries in the world. Yes, it’s huge !
Marble busts depicting great philosophers and writers of the western world survey the central walkway and also men (yes, they are all men) associated with The Trinity College Dublin. Entirely made of wood with the distinctive and beautiful barrel shaped ceiling was added in 1860 to allow space for more works when the existing shelves became full.
Street art of Dublin
If you think of street art, Dublin, the Irish capital, doesn’t spring to mind immediately, but the city has been undergoing somewhat of a transformation in recent years. One of the first things that surprised me were the doors of the houses, everywhere in the city you will see colorful, photogenic doors. It’s a kind of traditional street art.
No longer an underground activity, graffiti & mural painting has now become more than acceptable with arts organizations. Dublin’s City Council and businesses are sponsoring and promoting artists. As a graffiti lover myself, I’ve not been disappointed in Dublin.
You might know this lane from the ‘Icon Walk’ outdoor gallery, which starts on Prices Lane and through Bedford Lane. This walk features large murals on Irish cultural icons from poetry, literature, music, movies and sports, with artwork contributed for free by local artists who wanted to enliven these forgotten lanes. It is a like a real museum in the street!
If you want to know more about the street art in Dublin, have a look at this article.
Go in the Temple Bar district, the most touristic area of the city, because of its bars, nightlife, but also the huge amount of artists, and new concept stores. During the day Temple Bar offers some worthy cultural pursuits such as the Photographic Archive, or the Irish Film Institute. Finish the trip with a fresh Guinness ;). It is without any doubt the best place in the world for that!