The General Post Office (GPO) is one of Ireland’s most famous buildings and was the last great Georgian style public building erected in the capital. It was built to the designs of Francis Johnson whose front portico is based in style on a Greek Temple. The foundation-stone of the building was laid in 1814 and was completed in 3 years for the sum of £50,000. During the Easter Rising of 1916, the GPO served as the headquarters for the uprising’s leaders. The assault by the British forces extensively damaged the building and the Ionic columns on the front portico are still pocked with bullet-marks. Inside the building an original copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic is on display in the museum area. A famous statue depicting the death of the mythical hero Cúchulainn is also housed inside the building. This was featured on the Irish ten shilling coin of 1966. Nelson’s Pillar was formerly located outside the building on O’Connell Street however it was destoyed by an IRA explosion in 1966. The Spire of Dublin now takes a dominant position on the site of the Pillar. The building has remained a symbol of Irish nationalism. Despite its fame as an iconic place of Irish freedom, ground rent continued to be paid to English and American landlords until the 1980s!

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