On a beautiful, clear and very cold morning I found a bus that would take me from midtown out to Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin. This was my final morning in the city so it seemed like a good thing to fill out my last half day with. The museum tour takes about an hour, and you start out in a little exhibit before the guide picks you up and shows you around.

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It was interesting to hear about the history of Kilmainham, with a lot of focus on the 1916 rebellion. The guide showed us the cells of key personas from back then and told us about the living conditions of the prisoners. At some point it was so overcrowded that women and children had to sleep on the hallway floor, under open windows, even in winter. No wonder many of them died.

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To be perfectly honest though, I’ve forgotten most of the story now.. What I wanted to show, was the gorgeous East Wing of the prison, which was kind of a photographers playground:

kilmainham dublin

kilmainham dublin

kilmainham dublin

Very atmospheric I think..!

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kilmainham dublin

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Gorgeous old doors..

kilmainham dublin

The Irish Museum of Modern Art lies right next to Kilmainham Gaol, looks very interesting and I had every intention of going in there after the museum tour, but the cold got to me and I chose to return to the city instead. I wanted to visit a cake shop I had walked by earlier, the Queen of Tarts. I couldn’t have picked a better place to escape the cold.

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It was crowded, but I managed to get a table to myself. Looking at the menu, there was just so much goodness to choose from! Everything home made as far as I could tell. I had the Old Fashioned Victoria Sponge Cake (one of their most popular) and some hot chocolate with marshmallows:

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And then, because I was still a bit hungry and because I am absolutely shameless, I also had the Cinnamon & Cardamom Swirl or Swedish Cake:

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So, so good. None of the cakes felt heavy in any way, just good old delicious. I will most absolutely return to this place next time I visit Dublin; their Apple Crumble Tart also looked fantastic, and their scones..

On that sugar high I walked over to the Chester Beatty library to spend my last hour in Dublin there. It’s a free collection of beautiful old books; the books were collected specifically because of their beauty more so than anything else. No photos were allowed so you’ll have to take my word for it, or check it out yourselves if you’re in any way into books (or it’s raining).

Have you visited Kilmainham Gaol? Tried the cakes at Queen of Tarts? What was your favourite? Share below.

Read more:
Lovely Day for a Guinness!
The Prettiest Great Halls in Dublin!
Dublin Walkathon: Temple Bar & Beyond

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