No “Tangled Alleys” Here

One of the interesting things our walking tour guide told us was how government authorities had found, in the course of excavating for a new municipal building, a cache of ancient Viking houses. But rather than holding up construction to try to preserve these treasures, they boldly went forward with their building plans, bulldozing over these priceless antiquities without a thought. It is no wonder my mother’s search for genealogy information about her Irish ancestors would prove futile. Apparently, “progress” trumps preservation in Ireland.

This mind set, our guide explained, is also why Dublin no longer has the typical tangle of old medieval streets so commonly found in other European cities. The twists and turns of the medieval alleys of old Dublin had been straightened out to form the more uniform pattern and grid of today’s streets.

But even though walking the streets of Dublin did not make us dizzy, we were treated to a smorgasbord of architectural anomalies that reside along its straight streets.

A typical downtown Dublin street.

Sometimes, between the predictable uniformity of modern facades, the past just has to make a point.

A bank of buildings alongside the river Liffey.

We were beside ourselves to find this one “sun-swathed.”

Better than a modern-day video camera to keep an eye on things.

Maybe the unsmiling head over the door knows something we don't...

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