Custom House Visitor Center2
Custom House Visitor Center2

Custom House Visitor Center Now Open

A new Custom House Visitor Center highlighting the rich history of Dublin’s most iconic building is now open.

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The center was officially launched last month to mark not only the refurbishment of Dublin’s architectural gem but also the 230th anniversary of its original opening.

At the time of its planning, the building, designed by noted architect James Gandon, was not a very popular project with Dublin’s merchants who felt that its presence would leave little room for ships entering and leaving the city.

It was eventually completed at a cost of £200,000.

Today, it continues to be a center for government and policymaking in Ireland, and for many years it has served as a hub for both imports and exports.

The new visitor center highlights the building’s magnificent architecture as well as its history, from the 1700s right up to the present day.

It also highlights how some of the most momentous events in Irish history affected the building.

Up to 200 people were imprisoned in the courtyard of the Custom House during the Easter 1916 Rising.

The building served as one of the strongholds of the British Army during that fateful week.

The center focuses also on the fire that broke out in the building on May 25, 1921.

a man looking at a screen Custom House Visitor Center
One of the exhibition areas at the new Custom House Visitor Center. Photo: Custom House Visitor Centre Facebook.

At the time, the Custom House was the headquarters of the Local Government Board for Ireland, an agency of the British administration in Ireland.

Started by about 100 volunteers of the Irish Republican Army, the attack proved to be a disaster as the British forces moved in quickly, with a gun battle erupting. Five IRA men were killed and about 80 were captured.

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Unfortunately, many important documents were destroyed over several days, with severe damage to the interior. The dome of the building also collapsed.

Much of that tragic story is recalled in the center’s new exhibition space.

You can take three different types of tours at the center. They include the self-guided tour, the guided tour and the River God Tour, which is completely outdoors.

Admission for the guided and outdoor tours is an affordable €8 for adults, €6 for seniors, €4 for students (12-17) and €20 for a family of 5.

Admission for the self-guided tours is €6 for adults, €5 for seniors, €3 for students and €15 for a family of 5.

You can get tickets for all of the above on the Custom House Visitor Center website.

Read More: Visit Dublin's Free Museums

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