If historic buildings are your thing then Dublin City Hall is a must. With stunning Georgian architecture and designed by Thomas Cooley it was originally the Royal Exchange, now it’s the administrative headquarters of Dublin Corporation. It’s right next to Dublin Castle on Dame Street (top of Parliament Street). Read on for more…
Dublin City Hall was designed by Thomas Cooley and built between 1769 and 1779. The Guild of Merchants originally built it as the Royal Exchange. There’s a central entrance hall, known as a Rotunda, and a large dome supported by twelve columns. It’s a square building with three fronts of Portland stone.
Due to the Act of Union in 1800, the Royal Exchange was unoccupied for 40 years. However its fortunes were to change in 1851 when Dublin Corporation purchased the building. With extensive renovations, the Royal Exchange was converted into valuable office space and on the 30th of September 1852, it was re-named City Hall.
City Hall played an important part in the birth of the Irish Republic. The year is 1922 and Michael Collins designates the building as the temporary headquarters of the Irish Provisional Government. An air of sadness and loss can be felt here as both the funerals of Charles Stewart Parnell and Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa were held here.
Dublin City Council meet on the first Monday of every month, with the Lord Mayor presiding. The Council Chamber in which they meet was originally the coffee room of the Royal Exchange. City Council committees meet here every day in the members room.
In 1998 Dublin Corporation carried out extensive restoration works to City Hall. This restoration work was carried through to the vaults on the lower ground floor level. The building was re-opened on the 6th of September, 2000. The vaults house the “Dublin’s City Hall – the story of the capital”. This exhibition will take you back to a time before the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1170, and brings you right through to modern times. The Exhibition takes about 1 hour
Things to know…
An admission charge applies.
The Rotunda at City Hall can be hired for select corporate events. For smaller events the exhibition area in the vaults may be hired. The maximum capacity here is 100.
It’s open all year except the 24th to the 26th December & on Good Friday.
Monday to Saturday: 10am to 5.15pm.
Sunday & Bank Holidays: 2pm to 5pm.
How to get here…
On foot: It’s only about a 5-minute walk from Trinity College en route to Christ Church Cathedral.
By bus: 77, 77A, 56A and 49 (from Eden Quay), 123 (from O’ Connell Street).
By LUAS: It’s only about a 10-minute walk from the Jervis stop on the LUAS Red Line.
Need somewhere to stay in Dublin, check out our Dublin city hotels page.