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Address: City Hall Exhibition Centre Dame Street | Cork Hill, Dublin D02 NP93, Ireland
Phone Number:
+353 1 222 2204
Website
Today
10:00 - 17:15
Open now
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Hours:
Mon - Sat 10:00 - 17:15
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Description:

City Hall was built between 1769 and 1779. The build took ten years to...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Nice quick stop

Not a lot to see for a tourist. But you can stop in and look around for a few minutes. Good location in the historic area with lots of food traffic.

Reviewed 1 week ago
2005-travel-lover
,
Frederick, Maryland
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199 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 115: English reviews
Frederick, Maryland
Level Contributor
359 reviews
143 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

Not a lot to see for a tourist. But you can stop in and look around for a few minutes. Good location in the historic area with lots of food traffic.

Helpful?
Thank 2005-travel-lover
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this review

Thanks for your review :) Ciara More 

Tiburon, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Dublin City Hall is right next door to Dublin Castle but ironically thousands of people pass right by it without even stopping in. This museum is free but has several interesting exhibits about the history of Dublin. It would be a shame if you missed this diamond in the rough when you visit Dublin Castle.

Helpful?
1 Thank TravelerMike9999
DublinCityHall, Manager at City Hall, responded to this review

Hi Mike Glad you enjoyed your Visit! Thank you for your review. Kind regards Alice More 

Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
104 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We actually went to see the castle, but it was quite expensive and we didn't have a huge amount of time. next to it was the City Hall - a brilliant building which is an architectural wonder. In the basement is a wonderful exhibition on the history of the city.

Helpful?
1 Thank jackrobson97
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this review

Thanks for your review, Jack! glad you enjoyed your visit :) Ciara More 

Level Contributor
57 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

A small exhibition centre showing hwo Dublin has been developed over the years. Next to Dublin Castle so do the two things together.

Helpful?
Thank Kathleen B
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this review

Thanks for reviewing us, Kathleen :) Ciara More 

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
95 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a must see, its a real part of the history of Dublin and its still a City Hall, so close to Dublin Castle and the city centre. The ceiling is just awesome.

Helpful?
Thank DJCass
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this review

Thanks for taking the time to review, DJCass :) Ciara More 

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
50 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2017

Almost hidden in the basement of the old City Hall (you enter through a cafe) is an exhibition devoted to the ancient and recent history of Dublin. The exhibits range from the ancient gold sword carried by the Mayor in procession to a copy of the 1916 proclamation of independence. It is a very worthwhile visit for those with a... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank KSfamily00
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this review

Thanks for your review, glad you enjoyed your visit to our exhibition on The Story of the Capital! Ciara More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2017

Lovely view of the dome from the inside. The mosaic art on the floor is also something to marvel at.

Helpful?
1 Thank Tartarace
DublinCityHall, Guest Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this review

Thanks for your review, Tartarace! Ciara More 

Wakefield
Level Contributor
141 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2017

Visiting Dublin as a tourist can be expensive, lucky for us they've put on a fantastic free and interactive exhibition in the city hall. The space was clean, the staff were friendly and the exhibition was interesting and informative.

Helpful?
Thank TheMiniMillionaire
DublinCityHall, Guest Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this review

Thanks for your review, TheMiniMillionaire! Ciara More 

South East England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
351 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2017 via mobile

We spent far longer than we intended at the exhibition as there was so much to look at. Well displayed including interactive computer type displays for children. The rotunda building upstairs is also very impressive civic space. It was free! which is great as Dublin is such an expensive city.

Helpful?
Thank cyclecrazy
DublinCityHall, Guest Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this review

Thanks for your review! We hope you enjoyed your trip to Dublin! Ciara More 

Ireland
Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2017

A lovely place to experience a taste of Irish History and what Dublin was like "in the rare auld times" It's a little gem in the city center that is sometimes overlooked. It has a true irish feel to it and I think it would get more footfall if people knew it was there, so maybe more advertising. Well worth... More 

Helpful?
Thank TravelbugP5
DublinCityHall, Guest Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this review

Thank you for reviewing us! Hopefully your trip was a success and you'll come back soon :) Ciara More 

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