Already the calendar shows the month of March – what a perfect time to share my Postcard Posts of Dublin, Ireland with you. My time in Dublin was mostly spent working but I always took advantage of my evenings to walk about and take in the beauty of Dublin.
I must admit I was quite taken by the many bridges crossing the River Liffey, in particular, the Ha’penny Bridge also known as the Liffey Bridge. It opened in 1816 as a pedestrian bridge and is one of the most recognized bridges amongst those in the city. I especially admired it at night with its bright lights casting a unique twin image in the river.
The bridge’s Ha’penny name came from the price of the original toll to cross, matching the levies of the ferries it had replaced. The price of crossing eventually rose to penny-ha’penny however the crossing cost was dropped altogether in 1919.
More than 30,000 people cross the bridge each day and fortunately, I was one of them.
You can see the Millennium Bridge behind the Liffey (Ha’penny Bridge)
This is the Millennium Bridge. It was built in 1999 as a pedestrian bridge joining Eustace Street in Temple Bar to the north quays.
The last bridge I photographed, out of the 24 bridges crossing the Liffey River is the Grattan Bridge (1874), known as the Capel Street Bridge, the Grattan Bridge or the original one in this location, Essex Bridge (1676). It is a road bridge and joins Capel Street to Parliament Street. It is known for its ornate cast iron lamp standards featuring the mythical hippocampus – half fish, half horse.
While taking my evening walks I was privy to some interesting architecture and building styles. The Custom House built from 1781 to 1791 is the Headquarters of Department of the Environment, Community, and Local Government. The interior was burned down by the IRA in 1921. The renovations included a new dome made of Irish Ardbraccan limestone which replaced the original Portland Stone. Custom House is often considered architecturally the most important building in Dublin.
After the United Kingdom was formed in 1800, Ireland adopted the lion and unicorn as part of their escutcheon. When the Republic of Ireland was established in 1943, they adopted a gold Gaelic harp on a shield as the heraldic symbol. The version found as part of the Custom House was created by Edward Smyth.
Facade artwork sculpted by Edward Smyth “Friendly Union of Great Britain and Ireland with Neptune driving away Famine and Despair.”
As I walked through the streets, just about every building had a style of its own. This is just a sample of a few interesting buildings seen downtown.
Stay tuned for the next Postcard Post, From Dublin, with Love – Part 2 – St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Stephen’s Green and
From Dublin, with Love – Part 3 – Unique Finds and Jameson Distillery.