In the ten months of travel on this adventure, we have seen close to two dozen castles and palaces. It almost seems that medieval Europe was constructed of nothing but castles and palaces as the people of that time were quite warrior-like, and very much aware of class distinctions. And that is not necessarily a bad thing, at least for those like us who enjoy exploring these ancient sites. Not to be outdone by its European neighbors, Dublin has an impressive castle of its own. While most of the current buildings of Dublin Castle date from the 18th century, a castle structure of some sort has been on this site since the time of King John, the First Lord of Ireland (1204). Originally built as a Norman defensive fortification, in later years the complex evolved into a royal residence. Since its beginnings in 1204, Dublin Castle had been the seat of British Rule in Ireland. British Viceroys (representatives of the monarchy) resided here until 1922 when Ireland achieved Independent nation status. The inauguration of Ireland's President has been held here since 1938. Today, the castle is a major government complex as well as an important tourist attraction.