Custom House


Georgian genius James Gandon (1743–1823) announced his arrival on the Dublin scene with this magnificent building constructed over 10 years between 1781 and 1791, just past Eden Quay at a wide section of the River Liffey. It's a colossal, neoclassical pile that stretches for 114m and is topped by a copper dome.

Best appreciated from the south side of the Liffey, its fine detail deserves closer inspection. Below the frieze are heads representing the gods of Ireland's 13 principal rivers; the sole female head, above the main door, represents the River Liffey. The cattle heads honour Dublin's beef trade, and the statues behind the building represent Africa, America, Asia and Europe. Set into the dome are four clocks and, above that, a 5m-high statue of Hope.