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Dublin, Ireland – History and a Pint

Updated on September 8, 2016

Dublin, Ireland – History and a Pint

Dublin, Ireland – History and a Pint


Dublin is a global city of just under 2 million people with an ancient legacy of contribution to literature and music, and an equally enduring history of political and economic strife. U2, The Dubliners and Sinéad O'Connor all came out of Dublin as did the writers WB Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett (all of whom won the Nobel Prize) Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and James Joyce. It is a UNESCO designated City of Literature.

Situated on the mouth of the River Liffey, an area that has been a site of human habitation since prehistoric times, Dublin is present-day capital of Ireland whose government considers 988 to be the city’s official date of establishment.

Sheltered in the middle of Ireland’s eastern edge, Dublin enjoys the country’s most temperate weather with mild winters, pleasant summers and few extremes of temperature. The River Liffey bisects the city into a traditionally wealthier Southside and more working class Northside, and is divided into several districts, locally referred to as “quarters” which range from the ancient Medieval Quarter to the recently established Creative Quarter and include the Cultural Disrict, home of Temple Bar, the center of Dublin nightlife. Dublin boasts more green space than any other European capital with 3700 acres of park under city council management.

1) Trinity College Library

Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university, was established by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 in an effort to make Dublin a protestant city, and its Old Library (one of four on the campus) is home to the Long Room, perhaps the most iconic library room in the world. Built between 1717 and 1732, and stretching over two hundred feet, the Long Room houses 200,000 of the library’s oldest books under its famous barrel-vaulted ceiling. Decorated with marble busts, including a remarkable one of Jonathan Swift, Ireland’s [what] it is home to the [ #] years old Brian Boru Harp, and one of the few remaining copies of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic. But the library’s most famous holding is the Book of Kells, the stunningly decorated, hand-copied, four-volume Bible created by Scottish monks on the Isle of Skye during the ninth century. Two volumes are kept on display, one opened to a page of simple text, the other to one of elaborately illuminated ones.


As architecturally impressive as Trinity College’s Long Room, KilmainhamGaol is as forbidding as the other is warm. Built in late 1700’s, this “Irish Bastile” had a part in nearly every step in Ireland’s arduous path to national independence. It once held most

of Ireland’s fabled revolutionaries, many of whom were executed in its yard. Now it stands as monument to Ireland’s difficult history, with an art gallery, a museum of Irish nationalism, and guided tours.


After touring the two pillar of Irish history – symbols of is art and ardor, the final stop on any true tour of Dublin must be at one of its thousand or so pubs. What Irish pub culture, with its music and “craic” may lack in grandeur, it more than makes up for in variety. Try The Brazen Head at [address] to join the links of Joyce and Swift who raised a glass in Irealnd’s oldest pub. Standing since the end of the twelfth century, it’s still as youthful as its home city, where half of the citizenry is under twenty-five.

After the oldest pub, try the Stag’s Head for its authentic Victorian décor, or check out O’Donoghue’s for traditional Irish music, but wherever you stop in, have a Guinness. Ten million glasses of the beer are served every day around the world, but consensus is widespread that nowhere does it taste as good as it does in its home city, where it holds a 9,000 year lease on its location. May its history, and Dublin’s, be a long one.


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