By Evin Grant and David O’Farrell
Dublin is a city full of history and well-known attractions as tourists continue to flock to the capital year on year. From the corridors of Trinity College to the statues of O’Connell Street, the city is steeped in history.
However, as is the case with any other major capital city around the globe, there are lesser known and more unusual attractions for tourists and even curious Irish people to cast their eyes on. We decided to pick out six unusual attractions across the city that may gravitate you away from the typical hotspots Dublin has to offer:
- Meeting Place
Located on Liffey Street Lower and just over the Ha’penny bridge, is the iconic Dublin statue, The Meeting Place. It depicts two women sitting down for a chat after a long day’s shopping. The image is in the heart of Dublin’s shopping district, near to the Jervis centre. The statue is designed to reflect everyday life in Dublin City and is known by some locals as “the Hags with the Bags”.
2. The ‘Joker’s Chair’
Merrion Square is full of memorial statues of times gone by and in the middle of the park sits the ‘Joker’s Chair’. The seat is in memory of Dermot Morgan, an Irish comedian and actor, who is probably best known for his role as Father Ted Crilly in the sitcom, Father Ted. RTÉ funded the statue by Catherine Greene after it was commissioned by Morgan’s partner in 2002. She designed a joker’s chair as she saw a commonality between Morgan and The Fool, best known from Shakespeare’s drama, King Lear.
3. St. Michan’s Church
St. Michan’s Church is located near Smithfield and The Four Courts, on the northside of Dublin. It is one of Dublin’s most unusual attractions as, below the church, sits five long burial vaults which encompasses the mummified remains of some of the most famous Dubliners and their families between 1600 and 1800. Tourists are able to go downstairs and view the mummies via a daily tour. The church was rebuilt in 1685 and mass still takes place there every second Sunday!
4. The Hungry Tree
Located in the facilities of King’s Inn on Constitution Hill in Dublin 7, this 80-year old tree is growing in a way that makes it look like it is eating a cast-iron bench originally placed a few yards in front of it. The tree is a London Plane and eagle-eyed tourists sometimes pose for photos on the bench. Not only is it an unusual sight, but the Hungry Tree is also a beautiful piece of nature that towers over Dublin’s oldest law school.
5. St. Audeon’s Gate
Of the many historic and appealing churches to visit in Dublin, it is that of St. Audeon’s parish that has the biggest variety of attractions. You’ll find this picturesque Roman Catholic building in Conmarket, Dublin 8. It is not the usual religious attraction of the interior that may draw your attention. A slight walk down the steps at the church leads you to St. Audeon’s Gate, a stone corridor with a unique dome-shaped architecture built in 1240 AD.
6. Anne’s Lane Umbrellas
Zozimus Bar opened on Anne’s Lane in Dublin back in 2016 and if you’re yet to pay a visit to the establishment, you’ve more than likely seen the floating umbrellas alongside it. The colourful attraction might not be as historic as previous locations mentioned in this article, however, it has proven to be a big draw for tourists and is frequently seen on Instagram. This spot is just as attractive at night and can make for a visually rewarding experience.