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12 December 2009

Dublin 2009

A had a wonderful opportunity to have a week to do some research and become more familiar with the various archives in Dublin, Ireland. Its not often that such trips come up, so its important to get as much out of them as possible. I stayed at the Arlington Hotel, which is just off O'Connell street not far from the Post Office where the Easter Rebellion of 1916 took place. For the most part I was within walking distance of the major archives and libraries as well as Temple Bar, which is the main area of Dublin for restaurants and night life.
When I travel around the world, I like to explore areas where I have never been before. Its a way I have found helpfull in learning more about the people who lived there in the past. In Irealnd, I had a couple of wonderful experiences.
On a Sunday afternoon, after attending church, a good friend asked me if I would like to meet the real citizens of Dublin. Of course, I accepted the offer and spent a remarkable afternoon walking the grounds of Glasnevin Cemetery. Glasnevin is the final resting place of about 1.2 million people. Glasnevin is an incredible place, full of the histrical figures from Dublin's past. I was there for about 4 hours, and I know I didn't even see but a small part. I was so impressed however by the amount of renovation and beautification that is going on. One of the unique items about the cemetery is a tall wall all the way around the outside. Local story is that is was placed there to keep the grave robbers out. At each corner of the wall, are located turets where guards could have shot tresspassers.
Another evening I took the oportunity to walk through an area of Dublin that around the turn of the century was home to a large Jewish community. In the area that strecthes northwest from Portebello College, many Jews made their homes. It is in this area that The Irish Jewish Museum now stands.

This was an icredible place to walk as some of the people who lived there can be found in "The Knowles Collection" and one of those residents, a Dr. Solomon, the dentist, may even be related. His home, is the green home in the picture. The community may never have had the numbers other places did, but there was certainly an active community.It was agreat evening walking through the neighborhood.
Another evening I took the chance to walk by the Adelaide Road Synagogue. This synagogue seerved the community for many years before closing in the 1990's. The synagogue,(pictured at left)even though it is now closed holds a special place in the modern history of Dublin Jews. While I was on one of these evening walks, I found something quite by accident. The building in the upper left corner of the post shows a builing with a shield above the door. On that shield it reads "Built in the year 5618". This obvious use of the Hebrew date is a remant of use by the Jewish community.

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