Don’t expect to find a gambling hall, but a building full of optical illusions

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The Casino at Marino

A trick for the eyes

In spite of its name, the Casino at Marino in Dublin is no gambling hall, but one of the best preserved neoclassical buildings in Europe. From 1775 onwards it was the summer home of the first Earl of Charlemont, James Caulfeild. The architecture plays tricks on your eyes - it looks like a relatively small building with a large roman entrance hall and windowed galleries on either side, but this optical illusion hides the reality of 16 rooms, no more no less, divided over three floors, where the very best high society parties, dances and literary reunions of the age took place. Designed by the architect William Chambers, the Casino at Marino also conceals some less decorative but necessary features, like drainpipes and chimney flues, behind the elegant columns of its entrance or the Roman funerary urns on the roof. Inside you’ll find the chambers and rooms of the period perfectly recreated, with explanatory notes to guide you.

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