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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.
  • Excellent32%
  • Very good48%
  • Average18%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible0%
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Hours
Hours Today: 10:00 - 17:00
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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Write a ReviewReviews (266)
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"beautiful building"
in 19 reviews
"free exhibition"
in 8 reviews
"interesting exhibition"
in 5 reviews
"film shows"
in 3 reviews
"dublin city council"
in 3 reviews
"dublin's history"
in 7 reviews
"neo classical style"
in 2 reviews
"main hall"
in 3 reviews
"interactive screens"
in 2 reviews
"o connell"
in 2 reviews
"dame street"
in 2 reviews
"other attractions"
in 2 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 6 reviews
"visiting dublin"
in 2 reviews
"rotunda"
in 18 reviews
"sword"
in 12 reviews
"architecture"
in 17 reviews
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1 - 10 of 152 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

The main room on the ground floor is rather splendid. The main feature is a series of murals. However, the main reason to come here is to see the exhibition in the vaults.This gives a detailed and very interesting account of Dublin`s history. In addition,...More

Thank grafran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We stopped by mainly for a brief rest from our walk. However, when we entered the main hall, we found fine architecture and also saw some interesting exhibits. I wish we would of had more time to explore this site and all it had to...More

Thank slhokie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

The City Hall of Dublin is very nice. It is possible to visit, freely, the grand hall, with its very high dome. Downstairs, there is a small bar and a very interesting exhibition about Dublin and its story. A lot to read, but also some...More

Thank Thombly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi Thombly , Many thanks for taking the time to reveiw Dublin City Hall . We are delighted you enjoyed the exhibition and you found it informative thank you for the feed back and hope to see you again soon. Kind Regards Ashley

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Reviewed 5 weeks ago

Free to get into. Well laid out and informative history of Dublin in an impressive building.Cafe on site.

Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago

Hi Richard, Thank you for the lovely review we are delighted you enjoyed our free exhibition and hope to see you again soon. :) Best Wishes Ashley

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Reviewed 1 July 2018

This is a beautiful building with an outstanding example of the Georgian architecture for which Dublin is world-renowned. The Rotunda at City Hall is a circular entrance hall and is of impressive dimensions, with twelve pillars supporting an embellished gold leaf dome. This is a...More

Thank dgbg100106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 2 July 2018

HI Many thanks for the lovely comment and we are delighted you enjoyed your time at City Hall . The pictures are beautiful and thank you for sharing them with us. Feel free to call in again soon . Best Wishes Ashley

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Reviewed 14 June 2018

A really nice and impressive, yet simple building. For sure a must see structure and it's history in the heart of Dublin.

1  Thank Lieselotte-Teod... G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2018

Superb place for a wedding ceremony. My daughter picked this as 'the place to get married in'. The architecture and history is exceptional. Throughout the ceremony the city hall officials guided everyone through the rituals. They were superb, very caring people, experienced in the art...More

1  Thank Macca292
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2018

Hi thank you very much for the lovely reveiw and feedback we are delighted your daughter had a fantasric day. It was our pleasure to assist and congrats to the lovely couple.Feel free to pop by anytime to say hello. :) Ashley

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Reviewed 7 May 2018

This is a great city hall from the architecture to the beautiful inside foyer area right in the heart of Dublin , a MUST visit also lots of history . You will enjoy this from right outside the busy streets of the downtown shopping area....More

Thank rknack2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2018

Many thanks for taking the time to review Dublin City Hall its wonderful to get great feedback and hope to see you again soon.

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Reviewed 3 May 2018 via mobile

We enjoy visiting the free city hall exhibition. We learned a lot about Dublin. Thanks for sharing all those objects and photos.

Thank xie_fen_ning
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DublinCityHall, Public Relations Manager at City Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 11 June 2018

HI Xie_Fen_Ning Thank you for the lovely comment and feedback we are delighted you enjoyed the exhibition and found it informative . Kind Regards Ashley

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Reviewed 29 April 2018

As many others have said, we went to visit Dublin Castle and then found City Hall after the fact. What a beautiful place to sit and reflect upon the history of Dublin. I was so glad that we stopped here. The interior is just drop...More

Thank Yuki626
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
MichelleMoore84
21 January 2017|
AnswerShow 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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