Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tombstone Tourist

Even when I'm not chasing ancestors I'm a bit of a Tombstone Tourist. Luckily Mr GeniAus likes  tramping around cemeteries too.

Glasnevin Cemetery - a Sea of Celtic Crosses
On our recent holiday we visited several cemeteries but one in Dublin stood out. I wanted to visit Glasnevin Cemetery to photograph some ancestral graves for my cousin but, when I read on Tripadvisor, that Glasnevin was a popular tourist destination I made sure we included it in our itinerary. The Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum is ranked 2 out of 455 things to do in Dublin!
Family graves found and photographed
We found a beautifully maintained facility not far from the CBD with on-site parking. Having located the family graves within ten minutes of arriving at the cemetery we booked in for one of the walking tours at the modern visitor centre and museum. While waiting for the tour we spent time absorbing the material on display in the cemetery museum that is housed with gift shop, cafe and facilities in this modern purpose built building.

Cemetery Museum and Visitor Centre
Our tour guide gave us a lesson in Irish history as we visited the graves of many Irish patriots and other famous and infamous Irish folk. One of the highlights of the tour was a visit to Daniel O'Connell's crypt. Our guide told us that it was good luck to touch O'Connell's lead-lined coffin so we made sure we did so.

Detail in O'Connell's Crypt
O'Connell's Lead-lined coffin can be seen (and touched) through decorative openings

O'Connell's crypt is underneath the tall tower in the centre of the cemetery
Although the heavens opened during our tour we soldiered on because it was  such an informative and enjoyable tour. I came away with a greater appreciation of Irish history and the turbulent times faced by my Irish ancestors.

The rain came down
Several of the people on out tour were regular visitors, they indicated that they learnt something new each tour as the various tour guides had different favourite tombs and tales to share. I will definitely  return for another tour if I get an opportunity.


I would definitely recommend a visit to Glasnevin for visitors to Dublin.


Crissouli said...

What an experience that would have been... Looking forward to seeing it for myself one day.

GeniAus said...

It was a highlight of our Ireland trip.

Lilian's Tree said...

What a lovely idea to do tours.


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