The Royal Hospital Kilmainham is an iconic landmark. It was built in 1680 by royal command and predates its sister, the Royal Hospital Chelsea, by just two years. This is the oldest classical building in Ireland and was based on Les Invalides in Paris. Impressive, isn’t it?

When it was built, the hospital housed just 20 people although it was designed for 400 (at times through history it housed up to 2,500). In 1690, we began looking after army pensioners from the Battle Of The Boyne. Yes, we’re that old.

In 1922 the RHK was handed over to the Irish Free State and five years later the last pensioner was moved to Chelsea. It served as Garda Headquarters from 1930 to 1950 but fell into disrepair

In 1980 Taoiseach Charles Haughey approved plans to renovate it at a cost of IR£3 million. It took four years – which is as long as it took to originally build it three centuries before.

The beautiful gardens here were originally used for medicinal purposes but over time they became the private gardens of the Master of the RHK who was in charge of the British Army in Ireland at that time.

In 1991, the RHK became home to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) which explains all of those stunning sculptures you’ll see around the hospital’s 48 acres.

The Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), in collaboration with the Office of Public Works, presents the magnificent 17th century Royal Hospital, Kilmainham.

IMMA – The Irish Museum of Modern Art, housed in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, is Ireland’s leading national institution for the collection and presentation of modern and contemporary art. Visit IMMA and enjoy a wide range of exhibitions featuring the work of leading Irish and international artists, free public tours and curator talks, explore the IMMA Shop, take a stroll through our stunning 17th century formal gardens and finally sit back and relax in the IMMA Café!

IMMA is home of the National Collection of modern and contemporary art, with over 3,500 artworks by Irish and International artists. The Collection is firmly rooted in the present and with a particular emphasis on work from the 1940’s onwards. Exhibitions which draw a selection from the IMMA Collection are shown throughout the year. See the IMMA website for the most up to date listings.

Opening Hours
Monday: Closed
July – September Tuesday – Friday: 11.30am – 5.30pm
Saturday: 10.00am – 5.30pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays: 12noon – 5.30pm
Last Admission 5.15pm
Pre-booked Heritage Tours, please email