An architectural mishmash
Irish history is reflected in the castle’s mixture of architectural styles. Since its foundation in 1204, the castle has undergone several thorough restorations, and each time a different generation left its own mark on the complex. In 1922 the castle was handed over to the Irish Free State. Today the complex encompasses government buildings, the State Apartments (the most important ceremonial halls in Ireland), museums, gardens, cafés and an international conference centre. Visitors may tour most of the castle grounds and museums on their own. The only exception are the State Apartments: these are only accessible on a special tour and accompanied by a tour guide.
The scandal of the Crown jewels
In 1907 the Irish Crown jewels were stolen from the castle. The circumstances were very suspicious: no door or lock was forced so it had to be an inside job, yet the culprit has never been found and an investigative report by the Scotland Yard vanished just as mysteriously as the jewels. Over the course of time many theories have emerged; most point to some sort of booze and sex scandal that has been covered up. The jewels have never been recovered.