Cobh cathedral and row houses in County Cork
From the vibrant capital of Dublin to the rugged beauty of the Cliffs of Moher to timeless castles and abbeys, this visual journey through the Emerald Isle offers an intimate portrait of a wondrous land. Christopher Griffin, a Smithsonian Journeys expert, highlights the culture and beauty of Ireland. As part of the program, enjoy a drop of uisce beatha, “the water of life”—authentic Irish whiskey.
9:30–10:30 a.m. Castles and Abbeys
An overview of the turbulent history of the country, as seen through Clonmacnoise, Blarney, and Kilkenny castles, and the Rock of Cashel, the ancient high home of the kings of Munster.
10:45 a.m.–12 p.m. The Poetry of Place
Explore the beautiful geography of the island including the poetic landscapes of western and Northern Ireland: Connemara, County Sligo, Achill Island, the Ring of Kerry and Cliffs of Moher, the Dingle Peninsula, and the Giant’s Causeway.
12–1 p.m. Lunch (Irish-themed lunch is provided)
1–2 p.m. Cities and Towns
A look at the cities of Dublin, the home of Trinity College and the Book of Kells and James Joyce’s muse; Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, with its history of Troubles; Galway, the quintessential Irish city; and Kilkenny, a charming medieval city.
2:15–3:15 p.m. Bring on the Drama: Ireland in Theatre and Film
The Abbey Theatre, founded by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory, produced plays that caused riots, such as the dramas of Synge and O’Casey. Hear some of the poems and important lines from plays as they were meant to be heard—in person.
3:15–4 p.m. Dubliner Irish Whiskey Tasting
Raise a glass with a staff member of the Dubliner, the Capitol Hill pub and provider of the spirits.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)