This is still a very interesting place to visit. I think that some of the exhibits have changed a little from when I wrote this originally. It was a little more difficult to get excited this time since the museum of crowded with foreign students practicing their English and we could not even get close to many of the exhibits. My lesson in this is visiting in the off season is preferable but having said that, you will enjoy this I am sure.
This is probably the closest most of us will ever come to visiting the medieval world. You begin by reading about the early history of Dublin. One of the earliest exhibits fascinated me. It is an audio exhibit. You listen to several different residents of early Dublin speaking in their different languages. I was totally enthralled. The Norman French mixing with the local Gaelic and Danish, it was amazing.
After this you pass into a medieval faire. You get to see examples of the food they would have purchased at a faire, and the cloth which was one of the main reasons to have a faire. This is not all visual either. There is the smell of spices from the spice vendor. All very interesting and as you move through the exhibits at your own pace there are some displays that have audio buttons for you to push, available in five languages.
You will be struck by the horrible impact of the black death that decimated the population in the 14th century and the impact that church had on the daily lives of the peasantry. Customs and celebrations are also dealt with in an entertaining and informative way. You even get to walk through a merchant’s house.
The second floor however was my favorite especially the part of the museum where I was not allowed to photograph. There is an excavation from Wood Quay. There is a skull of a woman in her 40's that was found and a forensic anthropologist has recreated the face of this woman. What was really interesting were the details that they were able to isolate and explain from just this one head. She would have been in almost constant pain from her teeth which were in very bad condition. They could see the accesses. There were lots of other items of food, clothing, and pottery that were found in this dig. I could have spent the recommended 45 minutes in just this one room.
The third floor has an exhibit on the Vikings including a longboat. Al liked this room the best and I imagine that it will be a big favorite with any children that come here. This is a museum that the whole family can enjoy, even young children.
If you are going to visit Christchurch Cathedral you will get a discount by buying both tickets. Before you enter be sure to have your picture taken in one of the cutouts because when you leave you will be exiting across the bridge to Christchurch Cathedral.
Take a look at the building that houses Dublinia. It was once the Synod Hall for Christchurch Cathedral and is a very attractive building designed by G.E.Street who was the architect for the renovation of Christchurch Cathedral in the 1870's.