The Royal Hospital Kilmainham is the finest 17th-century building in Ireland. It was built in 1684 by Sir William Robinson as a home for retired soldiers and continued in that use for over 250 years. It’s design is based on ‘Les Invalides’ in Paris with a formal baroque facade and large courtyard and it’s stunning formal gardens over look Phoenix Park and the River Liffey. Following the creation of the Irish Free State, this building was considered as a potential home for the new Oireachtas Éireann (Irish Parliament). It was eventually decided to keep the parliament in it’s temporary home in Leinster House on Kildare Street. The Hospital remained the home of a dwindling number of soldiers and was also used by the Garda Síochána as a storage location for property belonging to the National Museum of Ireland. A large statue of Queen Victoria which stood outside Leinster House until 1947 was re-located here as were various state carriages, including the famously spectacular state coach of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. The Hospital was finally restored by the Irish Government in 1984 (its 300th anniversary) and controversially opened as The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA).

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