Originally founded as a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and became the island's principal city following the Norman invasion. The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century, and was briefly the second largest city within the British Empire and the fifth largest in Europe, with the population exceeding 130,000. The vast majority of Dublin's most notable architecture dates from this period, such as the Four Courts and the Custom House. Temple Bar and Grafton Street are two of the few remaining areas that were not affected by the wave of Georgian reconstruction and maintained their medieval character.
Dublin grew even more dramatically during the 18th century, with the construction of many famous districts and buildings, such as Merrion Square, Parliament House and the Royal Exchange.The Wide Streets Commission was established in 1757 at the request of Dublin Corporation to govern architectural standards on the layout of streets, bridges and buildings. In 1759, the founding of the Guinness brewery resulted in a considerable economic gain for the city. For much of the time since its foundation, the brewery was Dublin's largest employer.
Dublin entered a period of stagnation following the Act of Union of 1800, but remained the economic centre for most of the island. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, the new parliament, the Oireachtas, was located in Leinster House. Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State, and later the Republic of Ireland.
Dublin is a popular shopping destination for both locals and tourists. The city has numerous shopping districts, including Grafton Street, Henry Street, Stephen's Green Shopping Centre, Jervis Shopping Centre, and the Ilac Shopping Centre. Luxury shops on Grafton Street include Boodles, Brown Thomas and its sister shop BT2. Brown Thomas also houses several boutiques such as Hermès, Tiffany's, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Dublin is also the location of large department stores, such as Clerys on O'Connell Street, and Arnotts on Henry Street.
The city retains a thriving market culture, despite new shopping developments and the loss of some traditional market sites. Several historic locations, including Moore Street, remain one of the city's oldest trading districts. There has also been a significant growth in local farmers' markets and other markets. In 2007, Dublin Food Co-op relocated to a larger warehouse in The Liberties area, where it is home to many market and community events.
The greatest party of them all is Saint Patrick's Day, a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. Saint Patrick's Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century, and has gradually become a secular celebration of Irish culture in general. Today, St. Patrick's Day is probably the most widely celebrated saint's day in the world. You can find more information at discoverireland.com.
To counterbalance the city's hedonistic nightlife, Dublin has more green spaces per square kilometre than any other European capital city, with 97% of city residents living within 300 metres of a park area. The city council provides 2.96 hectares (7.3 acres) of public green space per 1,000 people and 255 playing fields. The council also plants approximately 5,000 trees annually and manages over 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres) of parks.
- The Guinness Storehouse. At Guinness Storehouse you’ll discover all there is to know about the world’s most famous beer. A dramatic story that begins 250 years ago and ends…where else - in the Gravity bar with a complimentary pint of the black stuff. This £30million visitor experience brings to life one of the world's most iconic brands. Located at the heart of St. James’s Gate Brewery, the seven floors are designed around a central glass atrium mirroring the shape of a pint of Guinness. Floor by floor, visitors take a surprising journey through the past, present and future of the world’s greatest beer. They discover the ingredients, the process, the time, the craft and the passion that goes into every pint.
- Dublin Castle. was, until 1922, the seat of British rule in Ireland, and is now a major Irish government complex. Most of it dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland. The Castle served as the seat of English, then later British government of Ireland under the Lordship of Ireland (1171–1541), the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800), and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1800–1922). Upon establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, the complex was ceremonially handed over to the newly formed Provisional Government led by Michael Collins.
- Temple Bar. Some of Dublin's best night spots, restaurants and unusual shops line these narrow, cobbled streets running between the Bank of Ireland and Christ Church Cathedral. In the 18th century the area was home to many insalubrious characters-Fownes Street was noted for its brothels. It was also the birthplace of parliamentarian Henry Grattan. Skilled craftsmen and artisans, such as clockmakers and printers, lived and worked around Temple Bar until post-Emergency (post-war) industrialisation led to a decline in the area's fortunes. In the 1970s, the CIE (national transport authority) bought up parcels of land in this area to build a major bus depot. While waiting to acquire the land in this area to buildings needed, the CIE rented out, on cheap leases, some of the old retail and warehouse premises to young artists and to record, clothing and book shops. The area developed an "alternative" identity and a successful lobby by local residents persuaded CIE to drop their plans. As more cynical Dubliners put it, the area became the city's "officially designated arts zone". But while the new investment and planning may have added a slight air of contrivance, it's still an exciting, atmospheric and essentially very young place.
- Saint Patrick's Cathedral or more formally, the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Patrick is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland which was founded in 1191. The Church has designated it as The National Cathedral of Ireland. It is the larger of the Church's 's two cathedrals in the city and is the largest church in Ireland with a 43 metre (140 feet) spire. The other cathedral, Christ Church, is the diocesan cathedral of the diocese of Dublin and Glendalough. Since 1870, the Church has designated St Patrick's as the National Cathedral for the whole island, drawing chapter members from each of the twelve dioceses of the Church of Ireland.
- The Spire of Dublin. One of Dublin's newest monuments is the Spire of Dublin, or officially titled "Monument of Light". It is a 121.2 metres (398 ft) conical spire made of stainless steel and is located on O'Connell Street. It replaces Nelson's Pillar and is intended to mark Dublin's place in the 21st century. The spire was designed by Ian Ritchie Architects, who sought an "Elegant and dynamic simplicity bridging art and technology". During the day it maintains its steel look, but at dusk the monument appears to merge into the sky. The base of the monument is lit and the top is illuminated to provide a beacon in the night sky across the city.
|St Patrick's Cathedral|