A little bit about Dublin, Ireland.
Dublin (meaning "town of the hurdled ford"), is the capital and most populous city of Ireland. It is a primate city serving a population of approximately 1.8 million within the Greater Dublin Area. The English name for the city is derived from the Irish name Dubh Linn, meaning "black pool". Dublin is situated near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Lifey, and at the centre of the Dublin Region.
Originally founded as a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and became the island's primary city following the Norman invasion Norman invasion. The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century, and for a brief period was the second largest city within the British Empire and the fifth largest in Europe. However, 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 of the Republic of Ireland.
Similar to the other cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Waterford, Dublin is administered separately from its respective county with its own city council. The city is currently ranked 29th in the Global Financial Centres Indexand is listed by the GaWC as a global city, with a ranking of Alpha, placing Dublin among the top 30 cities in the world. It is a historical and contemporary cultural centre for the country, as well as a modern centre of education, the arts, administration, economy and industry.
ToponymyAlthough the area surrounding Dublin Bay has been inhabited by humans since prehistoric times, the writings of Ptolemy, the Egyptian astronomer and cartographer, provide possibly the earliest reference to a settlement he described as Eblana Civitas in about 140 AD. The name Dublin is derived from the Irish name Dubh Linn, meaning "black pool". Baile Átha Cliath, meaning "town of the hurdled ford", is the common name for the city in modern Irish.Áth Cliath is a place name referring to a fording point of the River Liffey in the vicinity of Father Mathew Bridge. Baile Átha Cliath was an early Christian monastery which is believed to have been situated in the area of Aungier Street, currently occupied by Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church.
The subsequent Scandinavian settlement was on the River Poddle, a tributary of the Liffey in an area now known as Wood Quay. The Dubh Linn was a lake used to moor ships and was connected to the Liffey by the Poddle. These lakes were covered during the early 18th century, and they were largely abandoned as the city expanded. The Dubh Linn was situated where the Castle Garden is now located, opposite the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle. Táin Bó Cuailgne, also known as The Cattle Raid of Cooley, refers to Dublind rissa ratter Áth Cliath, meaning Dublin, which is called Ath Cliath.
In most Irish dialects, Dubh is correctly pronounced as duv or duf (usually pronounced duu in Ulster Irish). The original pronunciation is preserved in Old English as Difelin, Old Norse as Dyflin, modern Icelandic as Dyflinnand modern Manx as Divlyn. Historically, in the Gaelic script, bh was written with a dot over the b, rendering Duḃ Linn or Duḃlinn. Those without a knowledge of Irish omitted the dot, spelling the name as Dublin
Middle AgesDublin was established as a Viking settlement in the 9th century and, despite a number a rebellions by the native Irish, it remained largely under Viking control until the Norman invasion of Ireland was launched from Wales in 1169. The King of Leinster, Diarmait Mac Murchada, enlisted the help of Strongbow, the Earl of Pembroke, to conquer Dublin. Following Mac Murrough’s death, Strongbow declared himself King of Leinster after gaining control of the city. In response to Strongbow's successful invasion, King Henry II of England reaffirmed his sovereignty by mounting a larger invasion in 1171 and pronouncing himself Lord of Ireland.
Dublin Castle, which became the centre of English power in Ireland, was founded in 1204 as a major defensive work on the orders of King John of England. Following the appointment of the first Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1229, the city expanded and had a population of 8,000 by the end of the 13th century. Dublin prospered as a trade centre, despite an attempt by King Robert I of Scotland to capture the city in 1317. It remained a relatively small walled medieval town during the 14th century and was under constant threat from the surrounding native clans. In 1348, the Black Death, a lethal plague which had ravaged Europe, took hold in Dublin and killed thousands over the following decade.
Dublin was incorporated into the English Crown as The Pale, which was a narrow strip of English settlement along the eastern seaboard. The Tudor conquest of Ireland in the 16th century spelt a new era for Dublin, with the city enjoying a renewed prominence as the centre of administrative rule in Ireland. Determined to make Dublin a Protestant city, Queen Elizabeth I of England established Trinity College in 1592 as a solely Protestant university and ordered that the Catholic St. Patrick's and Christ Church cathedrals be converted to Protestant.
The city had a population of 21,000 in 1640 before a plague in 1649–51 wiped out almost half of the city's inhabitants. However, the city prospered again soon after as a result of the wool and linen trade with England, reaching a population of over 50,000 in 1700.
Early modernAs the city continued to prosper during the 17th century, Georgian Dublin became, for a short period, the second largest city of the British Empire and the fifth largest city 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, but Catholics were confined to the lower echelons of employment at Guinness and only entered management level in the 1960s.