Finally went to Dublinia!

2 Dec

My family came to visit me this past week and it was so great! I took them to Croke Park, Kilmainham Gaol, Guiness Storehouse, Howth and all over Dublin. On one of their last days here, I thought I had run out of big places to take them, until I saw a sign for Dublinia. I hadn’t been to Dublinia yet and I was curious about the exhibit ever since Donal talked about them at the beginning of the semester but it had just slipped my mind.

I’m so happy I took my family here, it was a really interesting and my 11 year old sister, who thinks she’s too cool for school, thought it was “awesome!” I found the first and third floors most fascinating. The first floor was about the Vikings that came and settled in Dublin long ago and the third floor was about the archaeology of Dublin. The first week of Irish Life and Culture class, Donal talked to us about the Vikings and how their influence is still around today. He also disbanded my belief that all Vikings wore pointy helmets so I went into Dublinia knowing nothing about them except the few facts I could remember from class. My mom is the type that reads every single poster hung up at an exhibit so I can honestly say I learned a lot. It was really cool for me to come out of the exhibit picturing Vikings as actual people as opposed to crazy, violent beasts. My favorite thing that I learned about the Vikings is that they would use the money they stole from other countries in their own villages but because their own village used weight for currency, they would cut up other country’s coins to match the weights. This was called “Hacksilver”. I also thought it was funny how no one trusted each other when it came to buying things.  Merchants would all have their own scales so they would make sure someone using the funny money didn’t trick them. Some merchants were even buried with their scales!

Like I said earlier, the third floor was all about archaeology. It was really intriguing to find out that excavations to find much of the Viking and medieval artifacts took place right here in Dublin. Growing up, I learned a little about archaeology of dinosaurs but they were always taking place in far away countries or out in the middle of nowhere. Even though there’s ancient fossils below many places I’ve been, it’s cool to think that right below our feet, there’s remnants of old Dublin and how a lot of those clues have already been found.

Dublinia was a truly interesting experience and I would recommend it to anyone travelling to or living in Dublin. It’s really eye opening to see the story of how Dublin came to be and very few places in the world can say they have Viking roots!

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