Invaders and bloodshed, empire and rebels, scandal, beauty and culture – if it’s colourful history you’re after, Dublin has the lot. Handel’s Messiah, rebel gunfire, the harsh lives of the poor, and the swish of silk-clad aristocrats, and all within an incredibly small area. Follow the story-filled Dublin Discovery Trails – each will take about two hours on foot – around the city, from Kilmainham Gaol and Trinity College up to Parnell Square. You'll almost hear the whispers of the past on your journey. STORY OF DUBLIN The Vikings had good taste – they certainly liked the look of Dublin in 841AD and it’s been a popular spot ever since. Over the centuries, the city has been a magnet for saints, scholars, poets, playwrights, and dreamers – and, of course, a sprinkling of dissolute aristocrats. Follow the Stories of Dublin Discovery Trail where you can revel in the city’s glories – and uncover its occasionally disreputable past. EMPIRE Back in the 1740s, Leinster House (home of the Irish parliament) changed the shape of the city, as the aristocracy hurried to build houses nearby. During this time, the Guinness family used their vast wealth to help those less fortunate, arranging for St Stephen’s Green to become a public park, building houses and providing work for the poor. Take the Empire Discovery Trail and stroll around the colonnades of the Bank of Ireland or past City Hall to find where high society met to gossip, gamble and flirt. REBELLION The Republic of Ireland’s capital city was a cauldron of discontent for 200 years before the Easter Rising of 1916: those six days shook Dublin and heralded the birth of a nation. The Rebellion Discovery Trail takes in the spot where the Rising ended, in Conway’s pub on Parnell Street, scene of revolutionary Padraig Pearse’s surrender to the British. Along with homage to the generations of freedom fighters in the Garden of Remembrance, which is dedicated “to all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom.” ECHOES OF WAR Take the Echoes of War Discovery Trail and you can nearly hear the sound of marching feet. In an almost forgotten chapter of history, thousands of Dublin’s men and women enlisted to help the British Army in the trenches and medical centres of World War I. In hidden corners, you can find testament to their sacrifice in the form of monuments, cemeteries and hospitals where shattered soldiers were slowly nursed back to life. The Dubline The Dubline Discovery Trail weaves through the heart of the city, beginning on the northside at Parnell Square at the tranquil Garden of Remembrance to the iconic General Post Office (GPO) on O’Connell Street. In fact, some of the trail follows the path of the ancient road, the Slige Mhór, which once crossed the whole of Ireland. From Vikings and Normans to historic breweries, you’ll learn about the many factors that contributed to today’s thriving capital. Dublin's Northside 1 Beginning on Thomas Street along the bygone path of one of Ireland’s ancient roads, this trail traces Georgian gems such as the iconic Four Courts along with aromatic ambles around the Jameson Distillery. Discover the north side’s hidden treasures, including the secret garden known as the Blessington Street Basin and learn about the people, places and events that have helped shape the city. The 'Real' Dublin Dublin city’s streets are a striking fusion of Georgian architecture and modern design. This blend of old and new is explored on the 'Real' Dublin Trail, starting at the stunning gothic-style St Andrew’s Church. From ancient alleyways to thriving Temple Bar, the cobblestone streets of olden times lead the way to fascinating insights into the city's rich history. Dublin's Northside 2 From sporting legends to literary masters, Dublin city has been home to many inspiring characters and iconic landmarks. Discover the home of Ireland’s traditional sports on a tour of Croke Park stadium, where hurls clash and fans cheer their teams during adrenaline-fuelled matches. And stroll the ‘leafy with love’ banks of the Royal Canal, where poet Patrick Kavanagh found much of his inspiration. All this and more is in store on this fascinating trail. Explore more of Dublin Dublin city: top 9 attractionsGet to know Dublin through books of exceptional beauty, liquid legacies, castles, parks and mini-museums. Dublin city: food and drinkFrom traditional treats to modern masterpieces, eating and drinking in Dublin city are real pleasures. Dublin: Bloomsday and JoyceJames Joyce, Dublin, Ulysses and Bloomsday – we tell you everything you need to know.