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Dublin City Hall was built between 1769 and 1779 (designed by Thomas Cooley). It is the headquarters of Dublin City Council and is the place where the Lord Mayor and City Councillors hold meetings to discuss present and future plans for Dublin.
City Hall was originally built as the Royal Exchange and was used by the merchants of Dublin as a financial centre until Dublin Corporation bought the building in 1851. It was renovated and re-opened in 1852. The building underwent a major refurbishment programme in 1998-2000 and has been restored to its former 18th century glory.
Situated in an historic quarter of Dublin, City Hall is neighbour to Christ Church Cathedral and Dublin Castle.
Noteworthy features of the building are the magnificent Hall and Rotunda (an elegant space with a circular dome, like a small-scale version of similar buildings in Rome); statues of Daniel O’Connell, Thomas Davis, Henry Grattan, Charles Lucas and Thomas Drummond; and a set of twelve paintings representing scenes from the history and mythology of the city. There is a detailed brochure available in the lobby explaining the various art works.
Twelve columns support the dome of the Rotunda, with a mural between each one. There are twelve murals in total, eight of which depict a famous legendary or historical scene, such as St Patrick baptising the King of Dublin. The remaining four show the Coat of Arms of the four provinces: Ulster, Leinster, Connacht and Munster. In the centre of the floor, directly under the dome, a mosaic depicting the Coat of Arms of Dublin is encircled by four statues. These four statues are of figures that played an important role in the development of Irish society.
The Rotunda is impressive, not only for its elegance and beauty, but for its rich and vibrant history. Admission to the entrance hall is free and it can also be hired for events such as civil wedding ceremonies, book launches and fashion shows.
Open Mon–Sat: 10.00 am-4.00 pm (except for when weddings are in progress).
Closed Sun, Bank Holidays, St Patrick’s Day, Good Friday, 24-26 Dec & 1 Jan.
Pre-Covid, tours for groups took place by prior arrangement. Exhibitions were also held here from time to time. Sadly, these interesting options have been discontinued.
Dame Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01 222 2204.