On Saturday 1st May 2010, I went along to the Glasnevin Museum which is located inside the grounds of Glasnevin Cemetery, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.
Glasnevin Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Ireland. It first opened in 1832 to establish a place where people of all religions could bury their dead with dignity. The cemetery has grown to become a national monument and vital part of the Irish History story.
Glasnevin Museum is a must for anyone interested in Irish Heritage and Genealogy. The exhibitions on view seek to show the social, historical, political and artistic development of modern Ireland through the lives of the generations buried in Ireland's Necropolis. The exhibition hosts three main feature exhibits.
CITY OF THE DEAD : An immersive exhibition in the basement of the Museum. It covers the burial practices and religious beliefs, as well as the meticulous record-keeping, of the 1.5 million people buried in Glasnevin.
THE MILESTONE GALLERY : A succession of special exhibitions on key historical figures, starting with Glasnevin’s founder Daniel O’Connell. It also houses ‘the Timeline’ – a ten-metre long digitally interactive table containing details of the lives and connections of hundreds of the most interesting people buried there.
THE GLAZED PROSPECT GALLERY : It offers a breathtaking panorama of the cemetery, along with information on its marvellous array of funerary monuments and historic graves. Genealogist Searches on the www.glasnevintrust.ie/Genealogy page are made accessible in a research area.
Also at the museum is the Archive Room which includes a specially designed and temperature controlled archive room where original burial records minute books and historical documents are preserved, The Glasnevin Trust Shop which sells a range of books and gifts and The Tower Cafe where you can put your feet up and enjoy food and refreshments whilst looking out over the cemetery.
I went along with my son who loved the darkened spooky atmosphere of The City of The Dead and there was lots to do to keep him entertained while he learnt lots about Irish history in a setting that was fun. The life like props really made you feel like you had gone back in time. I on the other hand loved all that there was to read about different religions and burial methods, not to mention the chilling skulls which were placed in the floor under glass, a great addition to the atmospherics. When we entered the Prospect Gallery I was totally in awe of the stunning view which really showed the extreme beauty of the whole cemetery and put into perspective exactly how large the cemetery is. A nice cup of coffee and a wander around the gift shop completed our visit and I look forward to heading back there next week with my daughter to be overwhelmed again.