Touring Dublin’s River Liffey. Custom House and the bridges

The River Liffey is the soul of Dublin. Life in the capital of Ireland unfolds around it and next to it are the best places to see in the city.

To the north, the most commercial areas of Dublin and the monumental O’Connell Street. To the south, the area with the most atmosphere, such as Temple Bar and the most monumental with Trinity College and other buildings.

But along the river we also find very interesting places that you should not miss, as well as its many bridges that connect both banks.

Strolling to Four Courts

dublin-james-joyce-bridgeOur walk along the river can start Sean Houston Bridge, one of the most elegant bridges and the one that tram passes over, giving it a modern feel even though it was built in 1829.

From there we can walk towards the center of the city, passing several parks and the Guinness Storehouse, the department store of the most famous beer in Ireland.

Right next to the temple of beer we find another of the beautiful bridges that cross the river, Rory O’More Bridge, a bridge that was originally made of wood and that stands out for its blue color.

A few meters away, the James Joyce Bridge, built by the famous Santiago Calatrava, formed by 2 symmetrical inclined arches of the typical white color that accompany the architect’s monuments.

dublin-four-courtsLeaving aside the typical red brick buildings that predominate in Dublin, we get closer to the heart of the city, first coming across a very narrow church, St. Paul’s Church.

And later with one of the main monuments that are next to the river, the seat of the Supreme Court of Ireland, a building known as Four Courts formed by a portico of 6 columns on which a copper dome rises.

Four Courts dates from the early 19th century, although it had to be rebuilt in 1932 as it was practically destroyed during the Irish Civil War, losing thousands of documents dating back to the 12th century. Of course, it was rebuilt following the original design.

Dublin’s most central area

Dublin - River LiffeyThe shops and restaurants on the ground floor of the red brick buildings follow each other more and more intensively as we get closer to the city center, as well as different hotels.

First we come across the Graftan Bridge and its chandeliers and then the Millennium Bridge, a small pedestrian bridge from 1999 built to commemorate the new millennium, welcoming Dublin’s most central area.

The next bridge is the most famous in the city. This is the Ha’penny Bridge, built in cast iron in 1816 and originally had a halfpenny toll to cross it.

It is pedestrianized and without a doubt one of the symbols of the city and the one that takes you directly from the northern part of the river to the heart of Temple Bar.

Finally we arrive at O’Connell Bridge, possibly the busiest bridge as it links the area of ​​Trinity College and Temple Bar with the famous O’Connell Street, the most important street in the city. As a curiosity, note that the bridge is wider than long.

Custom House and Dublin Port

dublin-custom-houseFrom here we follow the last part of the River Liffey before reaching the Port of Dublin and its mouth, but we still have another spectacular monument that you should not miss.

This is the Custom House, a spectacular 18th-century neoclassical building built to be the port’s customs office.

Today, Custom House is the seat of the Ministry of the Environment after it was rebuilt in 1991 after years of neglect following the fire Sinn Fein set in 1921 to celebrate victory in that year’s election.

dublin-samuel-becket-bridgeIts façade is truly spectacular and its reflection in the water when it is illuminated at night is something you cannot forget.

Before reaching the Port there are still two interesting bridges. The first, Sean O’Casey Bridge, the most modern bridge that crosses the River Liffey, built in 2005 with a striking design that does not go unnoticed.

Lastly, Samuel Becket Bridge, also designed by Santiago Calatrava and reminiscent of a harp, the symbol of Ireland. Next to it is the Dublin Convention Center, a building with a striking, very avant-garde design.

Thus ends a walk along the River Liffey, its monuments and its bridges, since the next thing is the port and industrial area of ​​the city, not very interesting for tourists, and the mouth of the river in the Irish Sea.

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