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What Makes a Gothic Heart?

By Visit DublinDublin's Official Tourism SiteBIO
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A Gothic heart is a complex, emotional, mysterious and intriguing concept; and it certainly beats aloud in Dublin! Scratch the surface of the city that nurtured the enigmatic Bram Stoker, and you’ll find that elements of the Gothic inform much of our culture, music, architecture and fashion. We teamed up with Irish artist Lauren O’Neill to unearth what makes a truly Gothic heart...


What makes a Gothic heart infographic
Illustration by Lauren O’Neill

In the shadows

It's in the shadows of Trinity College Dublin’s library that some of the world’s most brilliant Gothic writers once pored over their studies. Among them are Charles Robert Maturin, author of Melmoth the Wanderer; Joseph Sheridan le Fanu, writer of Uncle Silas; and of course Bram Stoker, the man who brought us Dracula.

Dublin's Gothic fabric

Dublin’s Gothic heart is mapped across the city’s architecture and embedded in its culture. It’s in the watchful gargoyles guarding St. Patrick’s Cathedral, in the atmosphere of Christ Church Catherdral's silent crypt and in the precincts of 200-year-old Kilmainham Gaol, where the ghosts of former prisoners are said to wander.

Alternative Dublin

It’s also in the deliciously dark bars that attract alternative, fun-loving Dubliners: iconic rockers’ haven Bruxelles (a favourite haunt of the late Phil Lynott), O’Reillys (which hosts the aptly-named rock night Club Hell) and the atmospheric Gypsy Rose. It’s in funky, rockabilly spots Thomas House and Dice Bar, and heavy metal joint Fibber Magee's.

Goth style

It inspires our fashion too. You’ll find it in the city’s vintage clothes shops; many of which live in the Victorian, red-brick surrounds of George’s Street Arcade. Be sure to check out Harlequin and the dark, theatrical and very unique Ferocious Mingle Marcade. But Gothic elements are inspiring modern design too. Dubliner Simone Rocha’s latest collection was showcased at London Fashion Week in September and featured dark, textured fabrics and gothic lace details.