Today it serves as a major tourist attraction, which welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year, complete with guided tours and exhibitions.
About Dublin CastleThe construction of Dublin Castle was ordered by King John of England in the year 1204 for the purpose of acting as a defense mechanism for the city and as a place in which to store treasure. Work was completed in 1230 and to this day the original Record Tower, located in the south eastern part of the building, remains intact, having served as a prison during the Tudor period.
Over the centuries the castle has been continually modified, survived wars and housed both governments and royalty. Today it spans an area of 52,000 square yards (44,000 square meters) and features two museums, gardens and official government buildings.
The castle is also home to several State Apartments, which are frequently used to host state functions and presidential inaugurations. Guided tours of the State Apartments are available to the public, although they do occasionally close for official state business.
The castle opens seven days a week, with visitors free to explore its two museums, the Chapel Royal and Medieval Undercroft. The latter is located on the lower ground floor and features the remains of the original castle, as well as a Viking fortress which once stood on the site.
Visitors are free to browse the museums and other designated areas, although the State Apartments are accessible via guided tours only.