The fact that this fairly unremarkable-looking amphitheatre exists is something of an ignominious tale. It’s here – and I’ve a decent number of reasons to recommend it, since it’s not going anywhere – but the whole suite of civic buildings that have been constructed here were mired in controversy almost from the start. That’s because Wood Quay is the oldest settled site in the city – it’s Viking territory.
The Council (then Dublin Corporation) acquired the site in the mid-twentieth century and eventually announced it would build offices there. When an initial archaeological excavation revealed vast treasures, houses and a portion of the old city walls, Dublin people came out in force to oppose the new-build. But it went ahead, and much of the site went unexplored. Artefacts were placed in the National Museum – but this was a job half-done.
Anyway… it may not deserve to be here, but the Amphitheatre can be a haven for a quiet bite of lunch. Its finest moment is in August, when there’s lunchtime ‘Opera In The Open’ on Thursdays, arranged by the council (details here). It’s definitely something different and a break from the daily grind for local workers.
There are theatre events from time to time, as well as urban arts festivals and markets.
Ampitheatre, Wood Quay | Art & culture, Music, Relaxing | Free
Civic Offices, Wood Quay