The core collection at this museum has changed little since the museum was founded in the mid-19th century, and that’s part of the attraction. Its display cases are filled with native Irish animals, from stuffed birds and mice to the skeletons of enormous sea creatures. While there are recent additions—including the Discovery Zone, in which visitors can open a series of drawers to discover unusual specimens within—it feels quaintly old-fashioned. Upstairs you’ll find the most unique parts of the collection, such as the avian galleries and the “crystal jellies” collection—beautiful oversize glass models of microscopic sea creatures, made in the 19th century by the eccentric and brilliant Blaschka brothers of Dresden. There’s no doubt that this is a strange place—the locals call it “the dead zoo.” Still, kids find it fascinating, and it is, in many ways, a trip into the past.
National Museum of Ireland: Natural History
Merrion St., Dublin 2
Our Rating Hours Tues–Sat 10am–5pm; Sun 2–5pm Transportation Luas: St Stephen’s Green. Bus: 4, 7, 8, 39a, 46a Phone 01/677-7444 Prices Free admission Web site National Museum of Ireland: Natural History
MapMerrion St., Dublin 2 Dublin
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