With so much to see and do, it is no wonder that Dublin attracts so many visitors every year. Even in 2009, when the worldwide recession decimated the international travel industry, some 3.88 million overseas visitors came to Ireland’s capital city. To help you learn more about Dublin we have compiled a list of interesting facts about the Fair City that may be new to you. Read on for more…
1. Dublin has two completely different names in the Irish Language! Dubh Linn and Baile Átha Cliath. The literal meaning of Átha Cliath is “Ford of the Reed Hurdles,” and the name Dublin is derived from the Old Irish Gaelic Dubh Linn, which translates as ”Black Pool”. Historically, the native Irish favoured Áth Cliath, whereas the settled Vikings and Anglo-Normans preferred Dubh Linn. Dubh Linn was a lake used by the Vikings to moor their tradeships and was connected to the Liffey by the River Poddle. The Norse settlements in Dublin were around the Christchurch and Wood Quay Areas of Dublin.
2. Ever since 1665, when Sir Daniel Bellingham was appointed, the Lord Mayor of Dublin has been the First Citizen of Dublin, surpassed in authority only by the president of Ireland. Indeed, the title of First Citizen of the city has been in place since 1229. The Lord Mayor is elected at Dublin City Council on a yearly basis. The current and 342nd Dublin Lord Mayor is Andrew Montague.
3. The city of Dublin covers a land area of 115 square kilometers. Dublin’s population is 1.27 million, with an estimated 50% of the city’s residents under 25 years of age.
4. Arguably Ireland’s greatest national treasure and masterpiece, the Book of Kells is a sacred manuscript created by Celtic Monks about 800 AD. A stunningly illustrated representation of the four gospels of the New Testament, it is on display in the Long Room Library in Trinity College, Dublin.
5. Dublin is twinned with Beijing in the People’s Republic of China, Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain, Liverpool in the United Kingdom, and San Jose in California, USA.
6. Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge, which spans the famed River Liffey, is deemed to be the only bridge in the European continent is as wide as it is long.
7. Dublin has a rich literary and film tradition, with celebrated native names such as George Bernard Shaw (dramatist, critic & Nobel Prize winner), James Joyce (writer and poet and writer of Ulysses), Oscar Wilde (playwright, poet, essayist & novelist) and Dracula creator Bram Stoker among the city’s famous writers. Prominent Hollywood actors from Dublin include Maureen O’Hara, Brendan Gleeson, Gabriel Byrne, and Colin Farrell.
8. The Brazen Head, reputedly the oldest pub in Ireland, is located in Dublin. A pub has operated from this site since 1198.
9. Handel’s classic “Messiah” premiered in 1742 at the New Music Hall in Fishamble Street, Dublin. The production was sung by 26 boys and 5 men from the St Patrick’s and Christchurch cathedral choirs. An annual celebration to mark the premiere of this musical tour de force takes place annually in Temple Bar on the site of its original performance 270 years ago.
10. Dublin is home to many of Ireland’s most famous musicians, from the Dubliners and Thin Lizzy to Sinead O’Connor and U2. Windmill Lane Studios was the place where U2 recorded their early work and first three albums. Later work was created and recorded at Hanover Quay Studios, also in the city. The so-called U2 Wall at Windmill Lane Studios is covered in graffiti from fans who have made the pilgrimage from all over the world.
So there you have it – our guide to 10 interesting facts about Dublin. The best way to learn about Dublin is to actually visit there, stay there, and sample the Dublin life for yourself – so check out our hotels in Dublin page.
Have you been to Ireland before, and visited Dublin, Ireland’s capital city? Or are you planning to visit in the near future? If so maybe we can assist with any queries that you may have. Please send us your comments – we appreciate them!