If you’re in Dublin between the 8th and 24th of December this year make sure you see the living nativity scene at the Mansion House. Each year since 1956, in celebration of Christmas, they make the Live Animal Crib – a specially constructed life-size stable with animals brought in each morning to set a traditional nativity scene. The original idea came from a priest, Father Louis Coffey and is a great way of bringing the story of Christmas to life, especially for urban kids who might not very often step into a stable with all its sights, sounds and smells. The Mansion House hosts many Christmas events besides the living nativity scene. On December 16th this year, you can go there for the Christmas Long Lunch with comedian Tommy Tiernan.
Mansion House is in the middle of Dublin and is the residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin. Built in 1710 and bought by the city of Dublin in 1715, the Mansion House has long been an important part of Irish history. As a working government office, most of the building is not open to the public but it does have a respected restaurant Fire, and an events center, The Round Room, a historic room originally built for the visit of King George IV in 1821. Many noteworthy events have taken place in this room including The Irish Declaration of Independence. Even looking at the outside of the building is of interest: there’s the iron portico built for the visit of Queen Victoria and the Dublin City Coat of Arms which features three burning castles and two women holding olive branches. Figure it out if you can. No one else has been able to.