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Ireland's capital and largest city is known as the home of many great writers – Joyce, Yeats, Beckett, Shaw – plus the even more popular Guinness Brewery founded in 1759. Sightseeing highlights include the early medieval Christchurch Cathedral (Dublin's oldest building), the cobbled streets of Temple Bar, Phoenix Park (Europe's largest urban park), the National Gallery of Ireland and the treasures of the National Museum of Ireland, containing Europe's finest collection of prehistoric gold artifacts. A wide variety of buildings and museums (including Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle) show a real sense of living history. In the 20th century, a string of poets and writers immortalised the city, none more so than James Joyce whose seminal book Ulysses, which depicts one day in Dublin, is considered by many literary critics to be the greatest novel of that century.

Below are some of the main visitor attractions in Dublin.

Book of Kells
The Book of Kells is one of the finest examples of illuminated manuscripts from the era of great manuscripts, 650-800 A.D. It has been in Trinity College Dublin since the 17th century. The exhibition gives you the background to the book and the other, similar books exhibited there.

National Gallery of Ireland
The National Gallery, centrally located opposite Trinity College, features fine examples of every major style of European painting, including selections by Italian Renaissance artists (notably Caravaggio's The Taking of Christ), French Impressionists, and Dutch 17th-century masters.

National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland, located next to Leinster House has some wonderful collections dating as far back as the Bronze Age. See its gold ornaments, particularly Tara Brooch and The Ardagh Chalice along with coins, furniture and much more.

Chester Beatty Library
Considered by many to be the most impressive museum in Ireland, the Chester Beatty Library consists of some of the most important collections of Islamic and Far Eastern art in the Western world. The Islamic collections include mainly Persian, Turkish and Arabic manuscripts, while the East Asian collection includes manuscripts, paintings, printed material and decorative arts from Tibet, Mongolia, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma and Indonesia.

Leinster House
Between Kildare Street and Merrion Square, this is the seat of the Oireachtas (the houses the National Parliament of Ireland), comprising Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (the Senate).

Dublin Castle
Located off Dame Street in the centre of the city, Dublin Castle gives you a good taste of medieval Dublin. The river Poddle which flows under the castle formed the Black Pool (Dubh Linn) after which Dublin is named.

Guinness Storehouse
This unique and popular attraction is located in the heart of the St James's Gate Brewery, where Guinness has been brewed since 1759. The Storehouse, designed in the shape of a pint of Guinness is situated in a former Guinness fermentation plant. The tour concludes in the Gravity bar, where visitors receive a complimentary pint of Guinness with magnificent 360-degree cityscape views of Dublin city.
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