Storytelling is ingrained in Dublin’s history, making the city ripe with sites that have either inspired or been inspired by mythology and folklore. Here are just a couple of must-visit places when you are looking for something different to do in the city.
Molly Malone Statue
The ‘luck of the Irish’ is perhaps the most well-known aspect of Irish mythology and folklore, and has long since inspired a wide range of media – from TV shows, to films, books, and even online casino games. In fact, there are a vast selection of slots at Betfair Casino and other iGaming providers in the UK that play off these ideas, such as Luck O’ The Irish, Wild Wild Riches, Book of the Irish, Irish Luck, Irish Clover, Irish Riches, and Irish Frenzy, to name just a few. From four leaf clovers to rainbows, there are many icons that are stereotypically used as a symbol of good luck. However, this famous monument is entirely more unique.
Located outside the Dublin Tourist Office on Suffolk Street, not too far away from Trinity College and Grafton Street, the Molly Malone statue depicts a young woman pushing a cart to sell her wares. The statue was unveiled in 1988, and is inspired by the iconic song that has become Dublin’s unofficial anthem of sorts. According to Visit Dublin, the story goes that Molly was a fishwife in the 17th century and that her ghost still walks the streets crying “cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”.
Since the mid-2000s, visitors to the statue have believed that by rubbing the statue, they will be granted good luck. The popularity of this folktale can be seen in the fact that the statue has worn away in this area – and despite the statue having restorative work, these areas have been left in their worn state so that this symbol of good luck can be remembered.
St. Michan’s Church
From the outside, St. Michan’s Church looks just like any other. Initially built in 1095 by the Vikings, the church saw significant rebuilding in 1686. It is said that the organ inside the church was where Handel debuted ‘Messiah’ back in 1742, according to BBC’s Classical Music. What lies beneath the church is the most fascinating.
In a vault in the basement of the church, there are dozens of mummies – and, no one quite knows how they came to be. Over the years, several researchers have proposed different theories as to how the mummification happened, covering everything from the basement’s high concentration of limestone to methane gas generated by historic swamp land, and even deposits of oak wood in the surrounding soil. Whatever the theory, the thing that created the mummies is also causing the coffins to disintegrate, revealing the mummies inside, which has led to many stories and tales.
The most famous of the mummies are the ‘unknown woman’, ‘the thief’, ‘the nun’, and ‘the crusader’. ‘The thief’ is thought to have undergone punishments that fit the crime, before turning his life around to earn a church burial, and ‘the crusader’ is said to have fought in the fourth crusades, his hand stretching out from the casket as if to shake your hand. As this is a working church, always check whether it is open before visiting to avoid disappointment.
And there you have it – just a couple of sites in Dublin for a unique perspective into Irish mythology and folklore.