A new visitor experience exploring the building, burning, and restoration of Dublin’s Custom House is ready to welcome the public.
The opening of the Custom House Visitor Centre earlier this month marked the 230th anniversary of the original opening of the historical Dublin building in 1791.
The project has been developed by the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage in conjunction with the Office of Public Works (OPW) and in partnership with Fáilte Ireland.
James Gandon’s architectural masterpiece houses a fully reimagined exhibition created by award-winning designers with contributions from leading Irish historians and academics. It features a narrative journey that reveals a story with many layers, of people, heritage and history, spanning over 200 years.
The Custom House has been and continues to be, a center for government and policy making since it opened in 1791, and for many years it was a hub for imports and exports.
The exhibition flows and develops chronologically using each space to tell a chapter in the story, taking visitors from Dublin in the late 1700s through to the 21st century and giving them the unique and authentic experience of being inside the walls of one of the city’s most iconic buildings.
The new visitor experience shows how the building witnessed some of the most momentous events in Irish history, from the 1916 Easter Rising to the birth of the Irish Free State and eventually the Republic of Ireland. The fulcrum of this story is the burning of the Custom House in May 1921, which is brought to life though captivating audio visual interpretation and artefacts from the period.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Patrick O’Donovan said, “The opening of the Custom House Visitor Centre will enable everyone to experience and view up close the magnificence of this iconic landmark and learn about its involvement in Ireland’s history as it watched over the Dublin skyline for the last 230 years.”
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