For almost 800 years Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath in Irish) is the most important urban center in Ireland. To accommodate the same name is Dublin Bay, nestled between the peninsula of Howth and the headland of Dalkey on the central east coast of the island. The urban tissue is divided in two by the river Liffey, which flows into the harbor and is crossed by nine bridges, but it is clear from observing the presence of two channels, to circle around the center, and a myriad of parks. The sea-view strongly connotes the sky Dublin, deeply scarred from the inconsistent Atlantic climate in which the clouds are alternated with non-stop sunshine. In general, the Irish capital that falls into the category of cities to be seen at least once in life, maybe not to see an attraction in particular, but to live and breathe an atmosphere unrivaled anywhere in the United Kingdom.
When visiting a city is good, first of all, learn some knowledge of history: the first reports on the future capital of Ireland is the ninth century, when the Danes conquered and fortified the existing village. Only after three centuries, the Danes themselves were driven by the Anglo-Normans. In 1172 he received the King of England, just in Dublin, the homage of the Irish tribes, and since then the city was long tied to the Crown, during the Civil War. Fidelity lasted until 1798, when he began a very turbulent period, punctuated by riots and massacres, to obtain an independence came only 6 December 1921, at the conclusion of a revolution that lasted almost three years. Since then, Dublin became the capital of the country.
On the historical level, the fame of Dublin is amplified from having given birth to some famous writers: Jonathan Swift (1667/1745), Oscar Wilde (1854/1900), George Bernard Shaw (1856/1950) and a prominent character in the English history, the Marshal Duke of Wellington, the man who, with the victory of Waterloo, put an end to the Napoleonic glories. But it is surely James Joyce, which marked the modern Irish and Anglo-Saxon literature in general. No less important, many artists are originally from the beautiful Dublin, remember: John Field – pianist, composer, wrote the first night, Gabriel Byrne – Actor, The Dubliners – Irish folk music group (Luke Kelly, Ronnie Drew, Barnie McKenna, John Sheahan), Bob Geldof – Boomtown Rats singer, Bono – lead singer of U2, Sinead O’Connor – singer, Gay Byrne – long-presenter of Late Late Show, the longest running talk show in the world, Colin Farrell – Actor.
The best-known institution in Dublin is without doubt the Trinity College, founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I. Until 1793 the university was reserved for students of the Protestant religion, and only releases from 1873 academic scholarships and also Catholics. Here they studied the likes of Samuel Beckett, Edmund Burke, Oliver Goldsmith and Robert Emmet, in addition to the aforementioned writers born in the city. The main entrance of Trinity College is the Front Gate, located in front of College Green, the road that runs past the college. The long façade in the Palladian style is guarded by statues of Burke and Goldsmith, while the outdoor area which is accessed from Regent House is divided into Front Square, Library Square and Parliament Square.
On the latter facing the Chapel, open to all denominations, the Dining Hall, the refectory eighteenth-century opera by Richard Cassels, the Examination Hall, once the Public Theatre, and the Reading Room, the “Reading Room”. To the right of the Reading Room is the Old Library, the oldest library of early eighteenth century, which also has about 5,000 manuscripts and printed 3 million volumes. Another great attraction is the so-called college Dublin Experience, a multimedia show on the history of the city that takes place in the Arts & Social Sciences Building. Coming out in College Green, opposite the main entrance of Trinity College, is to see the Bank of Ireland, the building designed in 1729 by Edward Lovett Pearce as the seat of Parliament, but later sold to National Bank in 1802.
South of Green College extends Grafton Street, one of the most attractive pedestrian zones in the center. Do not miss the elegant stores and Thomas Browne and the Bewley’s Oriental Café, historic meeting place of the Dubliners, but also to see the Powerscourt Town House Centre, a shopping mall graced with stucco of great quality. Moving east, you enter into Dawson Street, where stands the Mansion House, the residence of the 1715 Lord Mayor of Dublin, and here, in 1919, was proclaimed the declaration of Irish independence. Next door is the Royal Irish Academy, which boasts a rich collection of ancient documents, in turn close to the eighteenth-century Saint Anne’s Church.
Still further east we reach the so-called “Georgian City”, built around Kildare Street, a street that has many important monumental buildings. Among these are: Leinster House, built in 1745, bringing together both the Dail Eireann (lower house) that the Seanad Eireann (Upper House) of the Irish Parliament, the National Library, a building of 1890 which houses a large collection of manuscripts and first editions, and the National Museum, which displays artifacts from prehistoric to late medieval times. Continuing along Kildare Street you arrive at the north-east of Saint Stephen’s Green park of 9 hectares of Arthur Guinness homage to the city. Around the park to see the Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, the Royal College of Surgeons (Royal College of Surgeons) and the Huguenot Graveyard, the Huguenot cemetery in 1693.
To appreciate the soul of Dublin would have to travel to the Georgian Merrion Square, the central park named Archbishop Ryan and the elegant buildings that surround it. Nearby is the National Gallery, opened in 1864 and enlarged several times. The tour can start from where Milltown Wing, as well as Irish art, the place is the Italian form of paintings by Titian and Tintoretto, later changed to the Dargan Wing and the Yeats Room, which exhibits the works of Jack Yeats and John, respectively younger brother and father of the famous Irish poet. Finally it is worth visiting the North Wing, full of paintings by artists such as Anglo-Saxon Turner and Gainsborough, as well as Spanish El Greek, Goya, Velazquez and Picasso.
Built between 1769 and 1779 by Thomas Cooley as the Royal Exchange, or as a “bag”, the City Hall is now the town hall. Dome of the building are statues of local personalities, and historical documents are kept on file since 1772. Behind the City Hall, with the main entrance from Cork Hill, stands the Dublin Castle, the thirteenth-century castle built probably at an earlier Celtic fort. In Upper Yard (Courtyard Upper) leads to the Lower Yard (Lower Yard) where, on the right is the Record Tower, one of the four corner towers that give the building the appearance of a medieval fortress. To the left of the tower there is the Royal Chapel, the neo-Gothic chapel built between 1807 and 1814. Crossing the entrance leads to the State Apartments, for which we recommend the guided tour that takes you through the Saint Patrick’s Hall, the Wedgwood Room, the Picture Gallery, the Throne Room, State Drawing Room and the Apollo Room.
Castle Street leads to Christ Church Place, Christ Church Cathedral Square, one of the two main churches in Dublin. The original building of the thirteenth century are the crypt, in which there are snippets of works of art from various eras, and a portal of the south transept. In the nave is the tomb of Strongbow, the Anglo-Norman nobleman who invaded Ireland in 1172 and founded the cathedral, while the choir it welcomes others including that of a bishop of the thirteenth century. The other large church of the Irish capital is Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, accessible from above along Nicholas Street and St. Patrick Street. Founded in the eleventh century and rebuilt between 1864 and 1869, dedicated to St. Patrick’s is the largest church in Ireland. Inside are the graves of Jonathan Swift and Esther Johnson, and numerous funerary monuments such as the Boyle Monument.
Continuing west, we arrive at the quaint neighborhood called “The Liberties”, so called because the abode of Huguenots fled from France. Here is the Guinness Brewery, the brewery founded by Arthur Guinness in 1759 and hosted here since 1761. For lovers of the product is a must to stop at the Guinness Hop Store on Crane Street, where we see the phases of production and you can taste different types of beer. Near the factory is the Royal Hospital, built in the late seventeenth century by order of Charles II and now the seat of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), which houses a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions of Irish and international artists.
The main thoroughfare in the northern part of Dublin’s O’Connell Street, where you reach the ‘Abbey Theatre and the elegant Custom House. A few hundred meters east of the customs is the Famine Memorial, which commemorates the sacrifice of those who died or emigrated during the great famine. O’Connell Street ends in Parnell Square, strongly marked by the presence of three buildings on the south side: the Gate Theatre, opened in 1929, the Rotunda, currently Ambassador Cinema, and the Rotunda Maternity Hospital. From the northwest of Parnell Square, Gramby Row leads Saint Mary’s Place, which casts its shadow on the Black Protestant Church, built in the first half of the nineteenth century.
Irish cuisine can be considered a ‘copy’ of the English. It could not be otherwise, given the long presence of the “neighbors” as rulers of the island. A few typical dishes, which are mainly located in family-run inns. Among these the irish stew (Irish stew) made with pieces of meat, potatoes and vegetables. Who wants to eat while drinking beer must choose a pub or a hotel, restaurants do not have because the liquor license. Among the things to buy, we point out the articles of wool, as the famous sweaters of the Aran Islands , the silver jewelry with traditional motifs, objects processed straw, peat and wood. Among the famous food specialties smoked salmon, and the inscription on its container, if it’s true Irish salmon, must be “Smoked Irish Salmon” and “Smoked Irish Salmon.” The second fact indicates a fish that comes from different areas and it is only smoked in Ireland.
The climate is temperate, influenced greatly by the currents of moist air from the Atlantic Ocean that cause heavy rainfall in both summer and winter. Statistically the wettest period of the year is from July to December, but the months between January and June are characterized by marked variability. In return, the annual temperature range is reduced: the temperatures range from 4/5 degrees on average in January to 15 July and August, when you can still check afternoons with highs above 25 degrees.
Dublin is the heart of the Irish transport system. The city is served by ‘Dublin International Airport, a very large airport, served by numerous airlines including low cost and connected to many European destinations and beyond. The port infrastructure is essential both for passengers and for freight, while the major railway stations are Heuston Station, where trains arrive and depart direct to destinations west and south, and Connolly Station, served by trains to / from Sligo. Urban public transport mainly relies on the Dublin Area Rapid Transit (DART), a surface light rail convenient to move mainly along the coast, but also numerous bus routes.