Saturday, April 27, 2013

OFFBEAT DUBLIN- Museum of Natural History

This was my second trip to Dublin, and I was determined to see Dublin beyond the usual pubs and literary heritage.

My guide Mairtin walked me through Georgian neighbourhoods and suddenly took a detour on Merrion Street to show me a place that he had loved as a child.

I entered the dusty, slightly musty Museum of Natural History which first opened in 1857 and was amazed to see high ceilings, and lovely floor mosaics and grilles with antique Victorian show cases filled with more than 2 million specimens from Ireland and all corners of the globe. The Dubliners call it the Dead zoo and the museum is typically Victorian design and spirit when people believed in ‘shoot it, stuff it and show it’.

Giant deer skeletons, mammals, birds and fish, a butterfly collection, insects pickled in jars, gigantic whale and shark specimens suspended from the ceilings this museum even has a dodo skeleton !

I even saw a polar bear shot by an explorer with the bullet mark intact.
There were beautiful glass animal figurines of hard- to- preserve animals like anemones and jelly fish done by a father and son glass maker duo from Dresden.
And the best for the last, the museum is  free of charge! A great way to go back in time to old Dublin!



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