The National Museum of Ireland is home to countless fascinating artefacts relating to Irish history. It covers social, cultural and political matters as well as the natural wildlife of Ireland and around the world. It means there are plenty of fascinating stories to uncover at the National Museum.
It is split into four sites, three of which are in Dublin and the fourth is in County Mayo.
The three Dublin sites feature exhibitions of archaeology, arts and natural history. The archaeology site has some of the finest collections of gold artefacts in the world. Some of the pieces on display date back to 7,000BC.
The Kingship and Sacrifice exhibition features bog bodies from the Iron Age that were discovered in Co Offaly and Co. Meath in 2003. As the museum says, it gives visitors a chance to ‘come face to face with the past’.
Other exhibitions include, Prehistoric Ireland, Viking Ireland, Medieval Ireland and many more.
The decorative Arts and History site also features several permanent exhibitions which cover a range of different subjects from Folklife to weaponry. Exhibits include; The Easter Rising: Understanding 1916, Irish Country Furniture, and Soldiers and Chiefs, among others.
The Easter Rising exhibition looks at the social, political and cultural background that led to the 1916 Rising, as well as the key people involved. It looks at the reasons for the huge change in public opinion that occurred after the execution of 16 Nationalist leaders.
The Soldiers and Chiefs exhibition is broken down into three themes; Irish Soldiers at Home, Irish Soldiers Abroad and Irish Soldiers of the 21st Century. It features over 1,000 pieces from across the world and examines the history of the Irish military from the 15th century to the modern day. The Stokes tapestry is included as are original letters.
At the Natural History site, the galleries include exhibits of geology and animals from Ireland and the rest of the world. There are around two million specimens in the collection.
Permanent exhibitions include; Steps in Evolution, Underwater Worlds, Mating Game and Irish Fauna.
All of the Museum’s sites offer tours and you can also buy guidebooks.