Secret tunnels, A zodiac room & One of the finest Neoclassical buildings in Europe

This interesting building is regarded as one of the finest neoclassical buildings in Europe and is also one of the most surprising. It was designed by Sir William Chambers as a pleasure home for James Caulfield, 1st Earl of Charlemont in 1775.  Although casino means ‘small house’ in Italian, this one, with its clever use of perspective, has 16 finely decorated rooms including a zodiac room. It has many clever and interesting features such as the chimneys, which are disguised as urns, and the columns filter rainwater down inside them using metal chains which were a Chinese invention that James Caulfield saw on his travels. The mosaic floors are made from different types of wood from rare trees found in Africa and South America some of which are extinct now. The Casino was also used by Michael Collins during the War of Independence as a hideout because of the secret tunnels that connect it to the nearby coast. This one’s a joy to visit.