The Royal Hospital, Kilmainham

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After I’d been to the Collins Barracks, I stopped off at the Irish Museum of Modern Art which is located at the former Royal Hospital at Kilmainham, in the west of Dublin. The Royal Hospital was founded in 1684 as a home for retired soldiers, like that at Chelsea which was opened two years later. It’s the oldest public building in Dublin. The style is based on Les Invalides in Paris with a formal facade and a large elegant, arcaded courtyard.


The northern side of the building contains the dining hall and chapel and is dominated by the clock tower and spire.


The main building is being renovated at the moment, but exhibitions are being shown in the New Galleries (which aren’t that new!). And it’s still possible to walk round the main building and explore the grounds and formal gardens.

I parked up (2 euros for 3 hours) and called in to see the current exhibition, Cloud Illusions I Recall, and then decided to take a walk around the walled formal gardens, laid out in a French style, which are located to the north of the main building.

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On the west and east sides of the garden there are borders that are planted up with colourful flowers and other plants with climbing plants covering the garden walls. Beig the end of June they were well in bloom. I liked these lavender

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and foxgloves.

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3 thoughts on “The Royal Hospital, Kilmainham

  1. It`s a fantastic building, isn`t it? Such a pity the main galleries are closed to the public for the past year or more though I did catch the Cubist exhibition there in May. If you get a chance sometime, pop across the road from RHK to Kilmainham jail. There is a wonderful museum there which really conveys the hardship of prison life. There are also excellent tours of the jail but they get booked up very rapidly so get there early.

    Your pictures of RHK are excellent. Thank you for this post!

    • Thanks for your positive comment.
      The jail is definitely on my list as I’ve never been to see it yet. I hope to get the chance during one of my visits in the autumn. The main problem is that I only tend to arrive in Dublin around midday on the Sunday so hope that I manage to get on a tour.

  2. Pingback: Autumn at the IMMA | Down by the Dougie

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