Take Your Best Shot: Ireland

We asked our Travel Channel Facebook fans to share their best Ireland pictures. Here's a few of our favorite shots.

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Dingle Peninsula
Dingle Peninsula

Dingle Peninsula

Dingle Peninsula
A remote area of Ireland, the Dingle Peninsula is the place to see traditional Irish heritage. Ancient traditions have survived in this Gaelic-speaking area far more than anywhere else in the country. The 30-mile-long peninsula on Ireland's west coast also has more than 2,000 archaeological sites.
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Christ Church

Christ Church

Christ Church Cathedral
Sitting on what used to be the heart of medieval Dublin, the Christ Church Cathedral is the official seat of the Church of Ireland. Founded in 1028 by a Viking king, this cathedral still captivates visitors of all backgrounds with its beauty and history.
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Fort Dunree

Fort Dunree

Fort Dunree
Built in 1798, Fort Dunree sits on a rocky cliff in Northern Ireland. Irish forces were stationed here during WWII to prevent the nations at war from violating Ireland's neutrality. The fort is now a museum with its bunkers full of Irish military history.
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Battle of the Boyne

Battle of the Boyne

The Battle of the Boyne
"11th Night" is a celebration widely observed by Protestant groups in Northern Ireland with costumed reenactments of William of Orange's 1690 defeat of King James, a Catholic, in the Battle of the Boyne. Bonfires are lit all over Ireland to commemorate the event.
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Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle
Visitors to this historic castle can bend over backwards (literally) to kiss the Blarney Stone, known for its ability to "deceive without offending." If kissing historic artifacts isn't your thing, a garden of rock formations on the castle's grounds, called Rock Close, offers visitors a chance to climb the "Wishing Steps."
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Temple Bar

Temple Bar

Temple bar
Temple Bar, in Dublin, has retained a medieval street pattern, with cobbled streets. Home to the Irish Photography Centre, the Irish Film Archive, as well as various nightclubs and bars, Ireland's cultural district saw the first performance of Handel's "Messiah" in 1742.
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Penguins

Penguins

Dublin City Zoo
The spelling of Dublin was originally "Dubh Linn," which means "Black Pool" in Gaelic, referring to an ancient treacle lake in the city. The lake is now part of the penguin enclosure at the Dublin City Zoo.
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Flickr  

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher
With its highest point towering 700 feet, the Cliffs of Moher offer amazing views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. You'll also find a nature preserve; the area is one of the major nesting areas for seabirds in Ireland. The cliffs have been a tourist destination for centuries -- O'Brien's Tower, which stands at the highest point of the cliffs, was built in 1835 as an observation tower.
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Trinity College

Trinity College

Trinity College
Trinity College in Dublin is Ireland's oldest university. Established in 1592, it was once the stomping grounds of Oscar Wilde and Dracula’s Bram Stoker. A star athlete, Stoker graduated in 1870, and Wilde followed in 1874, with many academic awards under his belt.
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Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland

Irish Houses of Parliament
Although it's now the Bank of Ireland, visitors can still tour the former Irish Houses of Parliament. Built in 1739, it was the world's first parliamentary house built for the sole purpose of housing a government. It served as the seat of parliament for the Kingdom of Ireland until Ireland became part of the United Kingdom in 1800.
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Navan Fort

Navan Fort

Navan Fort
Not so much a fort as a pagan ceremonial ground, Navan Fort is full of ancient Irish history. While the site is not much more than a giant grass covered mound, it’s the setting for many Irish myths. Actors help bring the fort to life through reenactments of cooking, weaving, and farming during the Iron Age.
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Newgrange

Newgrange

Newgrange Megalithic Passage Tomb
Built around 3200 B.C., Newgrange is 600 years older than the Giza Pyramids and 1,000 years older than Stonehenge. According to legend, Newgrange was the home of Oenghus, the god of love. At dawn on the winter solstice, a shaft of sunlight shines through the roof over the entrance and penetrates the passage to light up the chamber for 17 minutes.
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Garden of Remembrance

Garden of Remembrance

Garden of Remembrance
This memorial garden in Dublin commemorates the many Irish revolutionaries who fought for freedom in various rebellions. The garden sits where the Irish Volunteers formed their organization in 1913 to secure rights for all of Ireland.
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Shelbourne

Shelbourne

The Shelbourne Hotel
The Shelbourne, now a newly renovated and upscale hotel in Dublin, was where the first Irish Constitution was drafted and signed in 1922. The hotel overlooks St. Stephen’s Green, Europe's largest garden square.
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Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel
Supposedly the site of the king of Munster's conversion by St. Patrick in the 5th century A.D., Rock of Cashel is a great place to see medieval architecture. The buildings, still standing since the 12th and 13th centuries, include Cormac’s Chapel, which holds the sarcophagus of King Cormac, a former king of Munster.
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Ireland History  15 Photos

Alleged burial site of Vlad the Impaler
Snagov Monastery

Snagov Monastery

On a tiny islet, surrounded by a lake, stands Snagov Monastery. Vlad enthusiasts have been claiming since the 19th century that Vlad himself is buried inside this monastery, more than 300 miles from Bucharest. While there’s no definitive proof of it, it sure makes for an intriguing story. 960 1280

fusion-of-horizons, flickr  

Count Dracula Club

Count Dracula Club

Inside this 19th-century house in Bucharest, visitors encounter a Dracula-inspired restaurant with some, um, newfangled twists. Dine on menu options like “Count Dracula’s Beefsteak” and the “Van Helsing Plate,” in honor of Dracula’s biggest enemy. But beware -- someone might sneak up on you, and take a bite out of your tasty neck! 960 1280

Count Dracula Club   

Brasov, Home to Dracula’s Castle

Brasov, Home to Dracula’s Castle

The medieval fortress, about 100 miles from Bucharest, was invaded by Vlad back in the day. Perched atop a 200-foot-tall rock, overlooking the village of Bran, Bran Castle yields panoramic views of the village below. 960 1280

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Poenari Fortress

Poenari Fortress

This weathered, cliff-side castle was Vlad’s main fortress. Built between the 13th and 14th centuries in south-central Romania by the rulers of Wallachia (a principality in what is now Romania), the castle was later abandoned and fell into ruin, until Vlad stepped in and oversaw its repairs. 960 1280

RomaniaTourism.com  

Chindia Tower in Targoviste

Chindia Tower in Targoviste

This military tower, in the Romanian city of Targoviste, was built by Vlad in the 15th century. Construction began during Vlad’s second reign (his first reign had been interrupted by a political coup and subsequent exile). Vlad came back strong with Chindia Tower, which stands at more than 88 feet. 960 1280

RomaniaTourism.com
  

Vlad's Old Princely Court

Vlad's Old Princely Court

This place of residence, located in Bucharest’s historic center, was built during the rule of Vlad III. But don’t let its regal arches and (1 remaining) Corinthian column fool you; the princely court was also likely a house of horrors. Local lore has it that Vlad kept his political enemies in dungeons beneath the court’s grounds. 960 1280

Nicubunu, Wikimedia Commons  

Sibiu, Where the Impaling Began

Sibiu, Where the Impaling Began

Vlad’s gory legend was born in the Transylvania city of Sibiu. In 1459, thousands of people were impaled in the city, at Vlad’s orders, on St. Bartholomew’s Day. Vlad’s victims included women and children, along with merchants and the local aristocracy. While some justify Vlad’s gruesome acts as a defense of nationalism (many of his victims were German Saxons), his detractors note that many of his victims were also from his native Wallachia. 960 1280

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Vlad's Birthplace, Sighisoara

Vlad's Birthplace, Sighisoara

See where Vlad III was born. In the winter of 1431, the future Prince of Wallachia was born in the present-day city of Sighisoara -- this yellow building is his supposed birthplace. Vlad’s father was Vlad II Dracul, who went on to become the voivode (warlord) of the area. No one really knows who Vlad III’s mother was; some speculate it was a princess from Moldavia, but Vlad’s father had several mistresses. 960 1280

Aleksandar Cocek, flickr  

Borgo Pass

Borgo Pass

This high mountain pass, roughly 309 miles northwest of Bucharest, is actually known as the Tihuta Pass. Located in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains, the area was made famous by Bram Stoker’s Dracula -- in the novel, he rechristened the area, “Borgo Pass,” depicting it as the gateway to Count Dracula’s lair of horrors.

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Richard Mortel, flickr  

Hotel Coroana de Aur

Hotel Coroana de Aur

Once you’ve checked out the Borgo Pass, settle down for the night at Hotel Coroana de Aur. The property comprises 109 rooms and 4 suites, with air-conditioning, mini-bars and free Wi-Fi among the amenities, making for a clean, streamlined environment to kick back and read up on Vlad and Dracula’s bloody exploits. 960 1280

Iván Vieito  

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