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secret society

Step inside the headquarters of Ireland's Freemasons

It’s one of the most unique buildings in Dublin.

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THERE ARE FEW organisations across the world that spark curiosity quite like the Freemasons.

Its origins date back centuries, and in Ireland it has as many as 27,000 members.

Its Irish HQ, despite some aspects of Freemasonry being highly secretive, is often open to the public. This Grand Lodge was purpose built in the 1860s and remains one of the most unique places in the city.

Keith Stent, who has the role of Head Tyler with the lodge, gave us a peek at four of the most impressive rooms.

Grand Lodge Room

This massive room, with an intricately designed ceiling and a large organ, is filled with looming paintings. This including one of Augustus FitzGerald, 3rd Duke of Leinster, who was grandmaster of the Hall when it was built.

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Grand Chapter Room

This is often one of the most memorable for visitors to the Hall. It features symbols ancient Egyptian culture – which at the time of the room’s construction was a subject of fascination for the Victorians – and is surrounded by a candelabrum topped with seven candles – seven is one of the most symbolic numbers in Freemasonry. It’s mainly used by the Grand Royal Arch Chapter, a branch of the organisation that members can join after one year.

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Knights Templar Chapel

This room was opened in 1873, featuring stained glass windows which were a gift from Queen Victoria and a chair built for future king of the British Empire Edward VII, who attended the opening of the room.

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Princes’ Room

This space is used by the Prince Rose Croix Masons Chapter, which each stall in the room belonging to an individual member. The table in the centre of the room features a Bible, the Koran, and the Torah, intended to symbolise how different religions are allowed join the Freemasons.

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The Freemasons’ Hall is the setting for this weekend’s Horror Expo, an evening for fans of the horror genre with Q&As, SFX demonstrations and special screenings. It’s part of the Bram Stoker Festival and takes place from 5pm until 2am Sunday and Monday nights. Tickets available here.

Read: From mummified bodies to a civil service desk job, this was Bram Stoker’s Dublin >

More: How a former Riverdance star is turning Dracula into a mysterious stranger ><

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