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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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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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  • Very good49%
  • Average19%
  • Poor2%
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Hours Today: 10:00 - 17:15
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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Reviews (201)
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1 - 10 of 201 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago

The Dublin City Hall is free to enter, and it has a beautiful rotunda, along with paintings on the walls and mosaics on the floor. There are also statues of Irish historical figures. In addition to being enjoyable to look around, we appreciated the chance...More

Thank SnowyShasta
Reviewed 6 days ago

We visited here on the recommendation of a family friend.The building itself from an architectural point of view is stunning,the timeline display downstairs is very informative and gave us a great insight into Dublin's rich history. Theres also a great coffee shop down there as...More

Thank pfc302
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 4 days ago

Thanks for your review, pfc302! Delighted to hear you enjoyed your visit with us. Ciara

Reviewed 5 weeks ago

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.

Thank 2005-travel-lover
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Thanks for your review :) Ciara

Reviewed 6 May 2017 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...More

1  Thank TravelerMike9999
DublinCityHall, Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 15 May 2017

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

Reviewed 2 May 2017

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...More

1  Thank jackrobson97
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2017

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

Reviewed 29 April 2017

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

Thank Kathleen B
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2017

Thanks for reviewing us, Kathleen :) Ciara

Reviewed 27 April 2017

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.

Thank DJCass
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2017

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

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...More

1  Thank KSfamily00
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2017

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

Reviewed 4 April 2017

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

1  Thank Tartarace
DublinCityHall, Guest Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2017

Thanks for your review, Tartarace! Ciara

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.

Thank TheMiniMillionaire
DublinCityHall, Guest Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 14 April 2017

Thanks for your review, TheMiniMillionaire! Ciara

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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
MichelleMoore84
How long does it take to walk around and take everything in?
21 January 2017|
Answer Show 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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