The Bram Stoker Trail in Dracula’s City Dublin, Ireland

Exploring the Legacy and History

Bram Stoker in Dublin

There I stood, pressed against the glass floor to ceiling window at the top of the Guinness Storehouse. I was totally zoning out, trying to drown the crowd behind me with the “dark stuff” and a remarkable view of Dublin. I peered off into the night sky, blanketed by brown clouds that seemed just low enough to soften the city. My eyes scanned the shadows tracing down streets, around corners and puddles that bounced sparkling reflections of light. I was determined to see something -unusual. Something like a vampire. Something like Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Dublin-at-night-Bram-Stoker

Dublin takes on a whole different character at night. This is the spectacular view from the top of the Guinness Storehouse taken by me in 2013. By Christa Thompson

The legendary Victorian vamp has transcended decades and made his way into pop culture media -adored by the masses. Now more than ever, vampire enthusiasts are tuning in and turning pages to popular bloodletting, romanticized-Goth, action-packed vampire novels. I’d be willing to bet that most adults know who Dracula is, and every neck-biting fan knows who Bram Stoker is. That said, did you know he was a Dubliner? True story!

Bram Stoker was born in the seaside Dublin suburb of Clontarf in 1847 although he spent most his life in Dublin city. It was there that he left a massive bite in the Victorian-era -which surprisingly has been pretty well-preserved today. They don’t call Dublin the “City of Literature” for nothing. Dublin takes its famous works very seriously. Now most of you know this place as one of my favorite cities in the world. I couldn’t think of a better destination to claim homage to the father of Gothic-vampire subculture. So, after a few trips to Ireland I have come up with a sweet Bram Stoker trail for you to enjoy. You can catch a cab (but that would be outrageously pricey), rent a car (but driving in Dublin is straight bananas), or my personal favorite, get chauffeured in style with Blacklane Limousine’s Service in Dublin

The Historic Trail

 

The Bram Stoker Family Home – 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf Dublin 3 – This was the family home of the Stokers. This is a cool link to it. It actually went up for sale last year. His Dublin City Home – 30 Kildare Street, Dublin

Bram Stoker's home on Kildare Street in Dublin Wikimedia Commons Public Domain 2008

Bram Stoker’s home on Kildare Street in Dublin Wikimedia Commons Public Domain 2008

Where He Went to School – Trinity College where he studied and received his B.A. in Mathematics and was an athlete.

The Long Library at Trinity College where Bram Stoker attended school and athletic programs. By Christa Thompson

The Long Library at Trinity College where Bram Stoker attended school and athletic programs. By Christa Thompson

Where he Worked – Dublin Castle, where Bram Stoker worked as a civil servant.

Dublin Castle by Christa Thompson 2013

Dublin Castle by Christa Thompson 2013

Where He was Baptized – Church of Ireland, in his home suburb of Clontarf, Dublin 3 Where He was Married to Oscar Wilde’s Girlfriend – St. Anne’s Church on Dawson Street, Dublin

St. Ann's Church on Dawson Street by Christa Thompson

St. Ann’s Church on Dawson Street by Christa Thompson

Where He Started a Long and Famous Friendship – The Shelbourne Hotel, where he and Henry Irving started their friendship over dinner.

The Exterior of the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin by Christa Thompson

The Exterior of the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin by Christa Thompson

Where He Found Inspiration for His Novel – Beneath St. Michan’s Church in the crypts, home to the mummified remains of soldiers and wealthy families. You can visit the crypts today. The Fairytale Traveler did!

Read the Fairytale Traveler Report on the St. Michan’s Mummies here.

Mummies in the crypts at St. Michan's Church in Dublin are believed to have inspired Bram Stoker. By Chirsta Thompson 2013

Mummies in the crypts at St. Michan’s Church in Dublin are believed to have inspired Bram Stoker. By Chirsta Thompson 2013

Coffins in the crypts of St. Michan's Church in Dublin. By Chirsta Thompson 2013

Coffins in the crypts of St. Michan’s Church in Dublin. By Chirsta Thompson 2013

The Legacy Trail

Bram’s Cafe – Bram took a bite out of Clontarf and you can take a bite at Bram’s Cafe! St. Stephen’s Green – A cool statue of Oscar Wilde, from whom he stole his future wife from.

 

St. Stephen's Green in Dublin by Christa Thompson

St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin by Christa Thompson

Irish Writer’s Centre – A painting of Bram Stoker can be found here. Bram Stoker Hotel / Stoker Dracula Organisation – Home to the Stoker Dracula Organisation, this lovely property houses the Stoker Dracula Centre. The Centre features artifacts, a visual screen presentation and scheduled “Classic Nights” in the 21 seated Victorian-styled cinema. I have never been to this place but it looks lovely online. The Stoker Dracula Organisation runs out of the hotel. Dublin’s Writer’s Museum – Features Bram Stoker, among other famous Irish literary legends.

Photo from the 2013 Bram Stoker Festival Dublin, photo courtesy of Bram Stoker Festival

Photo from the 2013 Bram Stoker Festival Dublin, photo courtesy of Bram Stoker Festival

Neck Biting Events for True Vampire Fans

Bram Stoker International Summer School – June 7th-9th, 2014 Vampire Cloak Race – October 31st, 2014 Bram Stoker Festival – Fairytale Traveler and Ireland correspondent, Ed Mooney explored this awesome event in 2013. It was absolutely amazing. This 3 day event calebrates the Gothic culture and literary legend on a whole other level. This year’s festival runs October 24th-27th 2014. Click here for a sample of last year’s brochure! This is killer!

Photo from the 2013 Bram Stoker Festival Dublin, photo courtesy of Bram Stoker Festival

Photo from the 2013 Bram Stoker Festival Dublin, photo courtesy of Bram Stoker Festival

Read more about the Bram Stoker Festival from the Fairytale Traveler report series here.

Love Bram Stoker as much as I do? Check out the Dracula Church St. Mary’s in Whitby, England

Resources:

The Bram Stoker Estate

Trinity College Long Library, first hand account

Wikipedia, Bram Stoker

The Bram Stoker Festival 2013, The Fairytale Traveler as reported by Ed Mooney

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About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

11 Comments on this post

  1. Great post! I didn’t realize Bram Stoker was born in Dublin.

    A Lady in London / Reply
  2. I didn’t know that Bram Stoker was a Dubliner either. These locations look so fascinating on their own, especially that library at Trinity College, that the Stoker association is a bonus way of tying them all together. Those mummies are so creepy. I can see how they inspired the story of Dracula.

    malaysianmeanders / Reply
  3. […] via the Fairytale Traveler’s 2013 coverage of the Bram Stoker Festival and our recent Bram Stoker Trail article, then you will be delighted to find out about Dublin’s huge vamptastic gathering to […]

  4. […] If you love Dracula check out the Bram Stoker Trail in Dublin […]

  5. […] Castle and Dracula are historically connected, but not quite as closely as we would hope. Bram Stoker used a combination of folk sources, historical facts, and personal friends to design a complex […]

  6. […] have descended through these very cellar doors and into this curious crypt. It is believed that Bram Stoker himself toured the crypt with his […]

  7. […] Check out the Bram Stoker Festival site for up to date details on the next Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin. If you’re looking for exceptional accommodations during your stay, I can highly recommend the Shelbourne, Dublin’s most famous hotel. The historic Shelbourne Hotel is a luxury 5-star property dating back nearly two hundred years and is home to a host of Dublin’s history. One of the most interesting to me is its history of Bram Stoker himself frequenting for dinner. In fact this is where he met and befriended his life long peer, Henry Irving. From the moment you step inside until you rest your head, every detail about the Shelbourne Hotel is perfect and exquisite. Prices are well ranged within the standard of service and luxury amenities.  To learn more about the history trail of Bram Stoker in Dublin, click here. […]

  8. […] This library is a marvelous sight and is just across the Dublin Castle (one of the places on the Bram Stoker Trail). Home to one man’s ( Sir Alfred Chester Beatty) collection of manuscripts, miniature […]

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