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Dublin Castle is a royal castle, currently serving as the main government complex. Most of the building dates back to the 18th century, although the castle has been standing here since 1204, i.e. the reign of King John, the first ruler of Ireland. Among the numerous monuments, it is worth seeing, among others a collection of oriental works collected by Chester Beatty, the throne room or the hall of St. Patrick, with paintings by Vincenz Valdre.
Dublin Castle has played a number of different roles throughout its history. Originally built as a defensive fortification, it was converted into a royal residence. Later, parliament and court sessions took place here, before they moved to new, specially built buildings. It also served as a military garrison.
Currently, the castle is used to organize official state visits, such as during the visit of British Queen Elizabeth II in 2011, as well as informal meetings abroad or state banquets. It also hosts the inauguration of successive Irish presidents.