Fishamble Street, Dublin

Head to the street that saw the premiere of Handel's most popular work


Fishamble Street is one of the oldest streets in Dublin, named after the fish ‘shambles’ or stalls that once lined it. But the street has another claim to fame.


On 13 April 1742, Neal’s ‘Musick-Hall’ saw the premiere of ‘Mr Handel’s new Grand Oratorio, call’d the Messiah’. To fit in the 700-strong audience clamouring to hear Handel’s latest work, ladies were requested to come ‘without hoops’ in their skirts, and men ‘without swords’.

The oratorio was an instant hit – ‘The sublime, the grand and the tender, adapted to the most elevated and moving words, conspired to transport and charm the ravished heart and ear,’ wrote one enthusiastic critic – and Messiah’s popularity has endured.

Today all that remains of the Music Hall is the door. But right next to this relic of music history is the George Frideric Handel Hotel – an ideal destination for Handel pilgrims.

Where is it? Temple Bar quarter of Dublin
How to get there: On foot, by bus or by car
Cost: Free
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Related links: The Cobbe Collection, Surrey


Image: Temple Bar Cultural Trust