Dublin Castle can be found right in the center of Dublin. The city's name actually originated from the Black Pool (Dubh Linn) which was situated where today you can find the Castle Gardens. The castle itself started as a Viking fortress in the 9th century; the remains of this fortress can be still be seen today at the 'Undercroft'.
The Viking fortress was then replaced in 1204 with a Norman castle which was severely damaged by fire in 1684. The castle had been used by the British royal family until 1922 when British rule in Ireland ended and it was given to the Irish Free State.
Within the castle you can take a guided tour but you are allowed to wander freely and there are many different attractions to see. One of them is the Chester Beatty Libraryand Gallery where you can admire one of the best collections of Oriental Art in the world.
In the south range of the Great Courtyard you can find the State Apartments. These apartments were built as the residential quarters of the vice regal court, though today they provide the location for state functions, elections and presidential inaugurations.
When visiting the Castle look out for the 'Figure of Justice' which you can find guarding the main entrance. The locals compare this figure to the British justice system as it stands facing away from Dublin.
The Norman 'Record Tower' from the 13th century houses the Guarda (Police) Museum where you can learn more about the history of the Irish Police force. This tower is the last and only remaining standing tower of the Castle.
The 'Bedford Tower' of the Castle, which can be easily recognized by its 18th century clock tower, used to be home to the Irish Crown Jewels until they were stolen in 1907. They have never been found.
There are many more attractions worth seeing within the castle grounds so do bring enough time with you to explore them all.
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