Since opening its doors in 1890, the National Museum of Ireland (Archaeology) is simply a treasure trove. Even the gorgeous historic building in itself is a treat. Inside, it holds a wealth of artefacts dating as far back as 7000BC.
What makes this history museum unique from all others, is its spectacular Kingship and Sacrifice exhibition. Here, the museum holds a number of recently found bog bodies dating back to the Iron Age. It’s hard to explain the wonder and awe you feel when you look at the bodies- The fact that they still have their facial features and hair makes it very surreal to believe they’re from 2,300 years ago.
Another must see has to be Ór - Ireland’s gold exhibition, and the finest in all of Europe. It’s home to a range of stunning jewellery and decorative objects made during the Bronze Age. Some of the pieces are so beautifully fine that you’ll be doubtful if even our modern goldsmiths could re-produce something so intricate.
The Treasury is another gem (pun intended), and probably holds some of the museum’s most famous artefacts including the 12th century Ardagh Chalice (possibly the most exquisite example of Celtic art you’ll ever see), and the Tara Brooch crafted in AD 700. Rediscovered on a beach in 1850, this brooch single handedly sparked a revival of interest in Celtic jewellery that hasn’t faltered to this day.
If that’s not enough for you there are also galleries on Prehistoric Ireland (the Viking Age), Medieval Ireland, as well as Ancient Egypt and the old Roman Empire.
Whether you’re looking for a fun day out, or simply want to kill an hour or two, the National Museum of Archaeology is well worth the visit. And best of all it’s free! Although, if your group would prefer a tour, this can be arranged at €2 per person - just make sure you book at least two weeks in advance.