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City Hall

City Hall Exhibition Centre Dame Street | Cork Hill, Dublin D02 NP93, Ireland
+353 1 222 2204
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Dublin Historical Highlights Walking Tour
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The Dublin City Walking Tour
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City Hall was built between 1769 and 1779. The build took ten years to complete. When they decided to build City Hall a competition was advertised and 62 submissions were made. The winner of this Competition was Thomas Cooley, a young architect from London. At the time, James Gandon would have been the primary architect in Dublin, but his designs came second in the competition. Thomas Cooley was also tendered to build the Four Courts, however at 44 years of age, he fell ill and died and therefore James Gandon became the primary architect in the building of the Four Courts. If you look to the ceiling you will see that there is a stained glass dome, initially this was meant to be left open, in the same vein as the Pantheon, however given that we are in Ireland and it rains so often, they decided to cover it in. The stone work was done by a German man called Simon Vierpyl, and the stuccodore responsible for the gilded work was a man called Charles Thorpe. Initially when City Hall was built, it was built as The Royal Exchange. This was where you would have come to exchange Irish Punt into English Sterling. This was where merchants and guildsmen gathered to discuss their trading affairs. If you look out the West door onto Castle Street, that was where the banks were located and if you look out the windows to the east, where the trading happened. Over by the Olympia Theatre was where debts were collected. This really was an epicentre of trade in Dublin for the later part of the 18th Century. The Wide Streets Commission used the building in the late 1780s and 1790s to meet to discuss the planning of the city. If you walk around the outer ring of the Rotunda, you will notice that there is a distinct echo, this was done intentionally. When Thomas Cooley was designing the building, he designed it so that the echo would muffle private conversations that were had when walking around the room. Upstairs, in what are now the Council Chambers, there were coffee rooms. Coffee House Culture in the Dublin in the 18th and 19th Century was quite popular. Coffee was a luxury item and therefore very expensive to buy, and this made it very fashionable in those days. In 1800 the Act of Union was introduced and this had a devastating effect on the economy in Dublin, and by 1827 the currency was amalgamated. The building fell into disuse and was then rented out. This was actually where O’Connell gave his first public address on the Act of Union and it is one of his most famous addresses. In 1852 this building was bought by Dublin City Council, and they had partitions put up for privacy. Since then, in 1998- 2000 Dublin City Council restored the building to it’s original state as part of a refurbishment plan for the millennium.
  • Excellent31%
  • Very good48%
  • Average19%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible0%
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Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
LOCATION
City Hall Exhibition Centre Dame Street | Cork Hill, Dublin D02 NP93, Ireland
South City Centre
CONTACT
Website
+353 1 222 2204
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"beautiful building"
in 17 reviews
"free exhibition"
in 7 reviews
"dublin city council"
in 3 reviews
"dublin's history"
in 7 reviews
"neo classical style"
in 2 reviews
"wonderful exhibition"
in 2 reviews
"o connell"
in 2 reviews
"dame street"
in 2 reviews
"other attractions"
in 2 reviews
"visiting dublin"
in 2 reviews
"guided tour"
in 3 reviews
"rotunda"
in 17 reviews
"sword"
in 12 reviews
"statues"
in 13 reviews
"architecture"
in 15 reviews
"mace"
in 4 reviews
"castle"
in 10 reviews
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1 - 10 of 142 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

Amazing place, so interesting to know about Dublin history by the way they tell us in the City Hall, so interactive, informative and clear to understand!! The staff at reception (Carol and others) are at higher level prepared to welcome everyone that come through the...More

Thank Celia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
65
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Go in the front entrance to the large domed room. Very impressive. Then head downstairs to the free exhibit of artifacts and videos of Dublin history.

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2018 via mobile

City Hall is perched high above Parliament Street and is the original home of Dublin City Council. It’s free to enter and do so you can enjoy the beautiful dome from the inside. It can be rented out for functions including ones marriage.

Thank DublinWelcomesAll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 26 February 2018

Thanks for taking the time to review us, Dublin Welcomes All! Glad you enjoyed your visit to City Hall. Don't be a stranger :) Ciara

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Reviewed 1 February 2018 via mobile

Some tourists do not notice City Hall because they prefer visiting Dublin Castle. Yet, I think it is an elegant building in the core of the city. Also its interiors are worthy of being visited. There are also statues of Daniel O’Connell and Thomas Davis...More

Thank Michela C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 5 February 2018

Hi Michela, Thank you for your review, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to City Hall and I hope you had a wonderful time in Dublin. Ciara

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Reviewed 25 January 2018 via mobile

Grand building that you’ll probably see at some point while walking the streets in Dublin. Stop in, it’s free and has a beautiful dome! Stayed here ~10 min.

Thank Cara C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 29 January 2018

Thanks for taking the time to review us, Cara! Glad you enjoyed your visit to City Hall Dublin. Ciara

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Reviewed 21 January 2018

Walked into the Dublin City Hall on our way from Dublin Castle. Great building with very nice exhibit area.

Thank JimmyJackk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 23 January 2018

Thanks for taking the time to review our exhibition JimmyJackk, 'The Story of The Capital'!

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Reviewed 9 January 2018 via mobile

Just visited City Hall today with my mother and we were thoroughly impressed! The young man working in the cafe was so friendly and helpful! And gave such wonderful service! The exhibition is very worthwhile and so interesting! We would thoroughly recommend anyone to visit...More

Thank Jason M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2018

Hi Jason, Thank you for taking the time to write such a kind review, we really appreciate the feedback and I'm glad you and your mother enjoyed your experience with us! I'll be sure to pass on your review to our café staff. Ciara

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Reviewed 3 January 2018 via mobile

This hidden gem has the added merit of being free! The basement has been converted into a very interesting historical glimpse.

Thank F5822OZdavidb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2018

Hi David. Thanks for taking the time to review City Hall Dublin, I'm glad you enjoyed our free exhibition 'The Story of the Capital'. Ciara

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Reviewed 10 December 2017

Almost missed this wonderful old building just down the road from The Castle. The Rotunda is beautiful but not set up to show it at its best. The History of the City museum in the basement was fascinating even if the staff seemed a bit...More

Thank uccharlie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 11 December 2017

Thank you for taking the time to review City Hall, Charlie. I'm so sorry that your experience with us was disappointing with regard to the staff interactions and the cafe closure. Your feedback is so valuable and we will make a conscious effort to notify...More

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Reviewed 11 November 2017 via mobile

Great free exhibition on the history of Dublin. Good informative exhibits. The videos are a bit long but good.

Thank Ian J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 13 November 2017

Thanks for your review, Ian! Glad you enjoyed the exhibition :) Ciara

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
MichelleMoore84
21 January 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from DublinCityHall | Property representative |
It can take anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour depending on how much information you're interested in. We also have a free exhibition in the basedment :) Thanks, Ciara
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