As the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, now is the time to visit. However, be wary of the larger crowds that will inevitably be drawn by the planned calendar of events.
A National Icon
There are few greater symbols of the dramatic history of Irish Republicanism than Dublin’s General Post Office. Inaugurated on the 1st of June 1818, the magnificently fronted building was famously the headquarters of the Easter Rising in 1916. Also known as the Easter Rebellion, the movement was a bold attempt to end Britain’s rule of Ireland while the majority of its military forces were engaged in the First World War.
Though the rebellion was crushed within a week by vastly superior numbers and firepower, and its ringleaders executed, the event was instrumental in reinvigorating Irish republicanism and is considered a landmark event in bringing about the end of British rule. Walking around the GPO today, you cannot help but be drawn into the history of the place as you examine the bullet and shrapnel holes that pepper the outer walls. The year 2016 marks the centenary of the rising, and a variety of events and exhibitions have been planned across the city to commemorate it.
Stone and Fire
Even without its impact on the course of Irish history, the GPO would still easily merit a visit. One of the capital’s great Georgian buildings, its 67-metre wide granite façade immediately catches the eye as you stroll down O’Connell street, the city’s main thoroughfare. A beautiful Ionic portico consisting of six fluted columns serves as the building’s centerpiece, summited by statues of Mercury, Fidelity and Hibernia on the pediment. Though a large part of the building was destroyed by fire following the heavy shelling of 1916, the grandeur and national pride contained within this old post office remains untarnished.
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