Read about the city

In the Irish capital of Dublin, one of the major things on the bucket list is the Irish atmosphere, which is reflected in the famous Irish pubs with Irish music. It is part of Ireland that you must remember to bring home from the green island, and you will also find many nice sights, monuments and museums in and around the capital,

Dublin, however, is also much more than pubs and coziness in the centrally located Temple Bar district. This includes the Vikings' historical settlement, the elegant and intellectual environment of Trinity College, the large shopping districts, the green, Georgian 18th-century parks in the middle of the city, and of course the famous statue of Molly Malone.

There are also several interesting church buildings in Dublin. Several of them date back to the 12th century, and the city's cathedrals have a unique status as formal cathedrals for both Protestants and Catholics. St. Patrick's Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral are the major religious attractions in the city.

Ireland is called the Green Island, and if you take a look in the countryside around Dublin you instantly see why. The nature is lovely and there is a relaxed country life, which unfolds close to the metropolis. If you want to see some wild nature, the hilly terrain around the Wicklow Mountains and the Irish East Coast are good opportunities for beautiful hikes and panoramas.

Other attractions

Parliament House, Dublin

  • Parliament House: Built from 1729 to house the Irish Parliament, this building is historically particularly interesting. The site was previously the seat of both the Irish lower house and upper house.
  • Molly Malone: ​​Irish folk music and songs are known across many parts of the world, and popular songs include the song about Molly Malone. Here is a statue of the girl selling seafood from her cart.

Custom House, Dublin

  • Custom House: The Custom House is the name of Dublin's distinguished old customs building, built in the neoclassical style in the years 1781-1791 according to James Gandon's design. It is beautifully situated down to the River Liffey.
  • Merrion Square : Dublin is known for its Georgian-style neighborhoods. The house rows around Merrion Square is a splendid example of exactly this kind of architecture. The period is the 18th century.

O'Connell Street, Dublin

  • O'Connell Street: O'Connell Street is Dublin's main street. The street was called Drogheda Street back in the 17th century, and it was the same time the present O'Connell Street was laid out as a street. You can see various monuments and interesting buildings along O'Connell Street.
  • Grafton Street: Grafton Street is the name of Dublin's most popular shopping street. The street extends from St Stephen's Green in the south to College Green in the north.

Four Courts, Dublin

  • Four Courts: Four Courts is the name of this building, which houses four of the Republic of Ireland's most important courts; The Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the local court of Dublin Circuit Court.
  • James Joyce Center: The world famous writer James Joyce was born in Dublin, where all his great stories take place. Ulysses is his most famous book.

Phoenix Park, Dublin

  • Phoenix Park: In the western outskirts of Dublin lies the large Phoenix Park. It is a very popular park which is widely used by locals and there are many activities and things to look at for visitors to the city.
  • Chester Beatty Library: In the 20th century, American Chester Beatty donated his unique collection of literature and manuscripts to the city of Dublin. You can see i.e. stone tablets, papyrus and beautiful editions of the Bible on the spot.
History overview

    [expand title="Read about city history" id="historie2" swaptitle="Hide content"]
    Founding by the Vikings
    Danish Vikings founded Dublin in the area around today's Wood Quai, and many objects from this early era in the city's history have since been found. The Vikings named their new city after the local Dubh Linn, which was the term for a wetland at the confluence of the Liffey and Poddle rivers.

    Dublin's official founding took place in 988, though remnants of former occupations go further back. The Viking settlement was founded in 841, but the year 988 was chosen, marking the year when the Viking king Glun larainn accepted Máel Sechnaill II as the high king of Ireland.

    Among other things, the Vikings' time offered legislative meetings, which they also know from Iceland. They took place on the Thingmote hill, which was south of Liffey at the present Dublin Castle. The Vikings had the city and the area under control until the Irish launched several attacks; in 1052, 1075 and 1124. The era of the Vikings in Dublin ended in 1171 with the defeat of King Henry II of England.

    Anglo-Norman Dublin
    Englishmen and Welsh settled in great style in and around Dublin from 1171 and maintained control of the Irish East Coast for several centuries. Dublin's old town was on the south side of Liffey, and during those years a settlement also arose on the north side. It was the so-called Ostmantown. Dublin was at this time the capital of the English Lordship of Ireland.

    Several major buildings were started in the former English Dublin. This included the churches of St. St. Patrick's Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral and St. Audoen's Church. The churches were close to each other in what was the center of the capital of the time.

    However, Dublin did not only develop in peace and quiet. The city was surrounded by city walls, and over the years Irish from the island's vast and relatively desolate lands attacked numerous times. The 1300s also became a century of turmoil. Partly there was an unsuccessful attempt at invasion by Scotland under Edward the Bruce, and partly the plague hit the city in 1348. The disease, moreover, came not only to Dublin in the mid-1300s, but several times to 1649.

    New English rule
    Dublin paid ongoing taxes to surrounding Irish communities to keep the clans from attacking the city. At the same time, the English interest in Ireland diminished, so Dublin was increasingly left to its own rule under some form of reliance on a good relationship with the Irish.

    The British crown allowed the earls of Kildare to administer Ireland, and they increasingly did so based on their own interests. It ended with Garret Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, imprisoned. That event led to an Irish siege of Dublin Castle, prompting King Henry VIII to send English troops to Dublin.

    The king's military overcame the earls' strengths and rule, and Henry VIII deployed English administrators, who then led the development of Dublin and Ireland. The King introduced new structures, and among other things he demolished the Irish monasteries in the late 1530s.

    The Protestant Reformation
    Catholic Europe was increasingly through the 16th century with the Protestant Reformation, which also came to England and made the country Anglican. The same was true of the English king and it was in contrast to the Irish people.

    After closing the Irish monasteries that were Catholic, it came through the remainder of the 16th century for several settlements between the Protestant regime and the Catholic Irish. Dublin's then mayor died in captivity at Dublin Castle in 1584 after being jailed for sympathy for Catholics, and Catholic Archbishop Dermot O'Hurley was hanged outside Dublin's walls that year.

    Queen Elizabeth I had arrived on the British throne in the early 1590s, and in 1592 she founded the University of Trinity College, modeled on the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Trinity College was Anglican, and despite its high standard, wealthy Irish Catholics largely chose to send their children to Catholic universities around Europe instead of Trinity College. The reign of Queen Elizabeth also led to greater English development towards the integration of Ireland's lands, which had otherwise long been partially left to local residents.

    Tensions between various Christian groups continued throughout the 17th century, when it came to several sieges of Dublin and fighting between Englishmen and Catholic forces from Ireland. The fighting caused several Englishmen to move to Dublin, which eventually gained the Anglican majority. Under Oliver Cromwell's rule in the 1650s, Catholics were forbidden to live in Dublin. At the end of the century, there was Anglican majority in both the capital Dublin and the Ulster region, which is the present Northern Ireland.

    Despite much activity and relocation, Dublin was still very similar to a smaller, fortified medieval town in the mid-1600s. In 1649 the town had about 9,000 inhabitants. However, the population began to rise due to the large number of Protestant immigrants who came to the island from many parts of Europe, and by the year 1700 the population had passed 60,000 in numbers in the city.

    The boom of the 18th century
    In the 18th century, Dublin flourished in earnest and the city became one of the most significant in the British Empire. The population also meant that it was only London that was larger in the British Isles.

    The Anglican community on the island thrived, and many Dublin residents achieved considerable wealth, which brought the city out of the Middle Ages. Many new areas were created, characterized by the new Georgian houses and neighborhoods, which continue to characterize the city in many places.

    James Butler, the first Duke of Ormonde and Lord Deputy of Ireland, was one of those who started the modernization of Dublin. He introduced that houses along the Liffey River should have fine facades and face the river, which the city had otherwise used as garbage and waste for centuries.

    A commission aimed to implement Georgian city plans, and many buildings around the narrow, old streets were demolished to make way for wide streets as time went by. One of the new streets was Sackville Street, now called O'Connell Street. With the new town plan, large seats were also established; in all, two large Georgian sites were built north of Liffey and three south of the river. Merrion Square and St. Stephen's Green are examples of them.

    At the beginning of the century, settling north of Liffey was most popular among the city's wealthy. This changed after the important Earl of Kildare erected the Kildare House, now called Leinster House, to the south. It attracted many other Dublin spikes, and this area was rapidly expanded.

    The 18th century also brought about a change in the composition of the city's population. In the latter half of the century, a growing influx of rural areas around Ireland to the capital occurred, and in this way Catholics again came to the fore.

    The capital was relocated
    Dublin was the seat of the Irish Parliament through the 18th century, and power lay with landlords and the old English aristocracy, who eventually felt so Irish that they sought greater autonomy over the London government. Under the influence of the French Revolution and American independence, the United Irishmen were formed and developed into a revolutionary entity that wanted to transform Ireland into a republic.

    In 1798, the United Irishmen planned to take control of Dublin, but their coup plans against the regime were impeded when the organization's leaders were arrested and with the arrival of a larger crowd of English soldiers. The coup had broken down in what was to be the revolt in 1798, which transformed political life in Ireland.

    The British government and the Protestant administration in Dublin were in opposition to the uprising, and the result was that the Irish parliament was abolished. It happened in the context of The Irish Act of Union, which merged the kingdoms of Ireland and Britain. Dublin's status as a capital was brought to an end and Ireland's status was significantly reduced. The power was transferred to London and it became the start of a long stagnation period for the city.

    Nineteenth-century Dublin
    Dublin's status as a capital had contributed financially to the growth of the city in the 18th century, but the many MPs and their administration and secondary services disappeared with The Irish Act of Union, which came into force from the beginning of 1801. Financially it was a setback for the Irish city, but it continued to grow in numbers.

    Large mansions were put up for sale, and the formerly fine Georgian 18th-century houses and neighborhoods became dilapidated and developed into poor neighborhoods. Already in 1803 was the year of a new revolt, but it was poorly planned and easy for the English to strike.

    The 19th century was a century in which there was a growing struggle for the rights of Catholic citizens among the Irish people. Since the end of the 17th century, Catholics had no influence on the city government, but that changed in 1840. It happened with the so-called Corporation Act, which changed the voting rights in Ireland. In Dublin, that meant Catholics became the majority in the City Council, and in 1841 Daniel O'Connell became new mayor.

    O'Connell had in 1830 formed the political organization Repeal Association, which fought to repeal the union agreement between Ireland and the United Kingdom. O'Connell planned mass meetings, and he fought in vain to get the British government to re-establish the Irish Parliament in Dublin, among other things.

    Industrialization also came to Ireland in the 19th century, but Dublin did not become an industrial city in the same way as Belfast in Northern Ireland. Consequently, Belfast grew larger than Dublin in the latter half of the 19th century, and in Dublin large numbers of residents remained unskilled and worked in places such as Guinness and Jameson Distillery.

    However, new buildings were also being built in the Irish capital these years. This was the case, for example, in new Victorian suburbs, where wealthy prostitutes established themselves after relocating from Dublin itself. The transport system also evolved with the establishment of a network of tram lines. The Dublin Tramways Company put the city's first horse-drawn trolley into operation on February 1, 1872, and it connected College Green with Rathgar.

    In Parliament in London, Charles Parnell, from 1875, demanded the establishment of an Irish Parliament, and around 1900 the separatist political movement Sinn Féin was formed. These were events that played into the coming of Irish independence.

    The struggle for independence
    With the Irish Act of Union, Dublin's significance had been greatly reduced through the 19th century, but by the same century its population had grown to about 400,000, which was the population around 1900.

    At the turn of the 20th century, Dublin was larger, but also poorer than before. There were many areas of slum, and the neighborhood around Montgomery Street was a notorious area with high levels of prostitution. This is what Dublin, among others, James Joyce described in the literature.

    Several decades of desire for local Irish rule or autonomy was adopted by the Home Rule Government of Ireland Act in 1914. That year, World War I broke out and the law was suspended and autonomy postponed. There was still great opposition to autonomy, and it was particularly pronounced in Ulster in Northern Ireland, but also significant in Dublin.

    In 1916 it again revolted against the English dominion. The rebellion was turned down at the O'Connell Street post office, and the Irish once again had to postpone autonomy or independence.

    Already three years later, from 1919 to 1921, an actual revolution arose, which became military and fought between British forces and Irish in the created Irish Republican Army. The war raged, and several encounters entered Irish history, such as Bloody Sunday / Bloody Sunday, where both British agents and Irish were killed on November 21, 1920. On May 25, 1921, the cityscape of Dublin was also marked; on this day, the Irish Republican Army burned the seat of the local political government in the Custom House.

    The war stopped in 1921 when the British offered a ceasefire against negotiating a deal. During the war, the British government had passed the Government of Ireland Act in 1920, and it sought to set up two autonomous territories on the island of Ireland; Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. The result of the 1921 negotiations became the Free State Irish Free State.

    The Irish Free State covered the territories of Southern Ireland, with Northern Ireland opting to seize the opportunity to become political with Britain. The state had the status of Dominion and thus remained subject to the British crown. For Irish Republicans, it was not a solution that lived up to their goal of independence, and in 1922, street fighting flared up again in Dublin.

    The new state took up the fight against Republicans to avoid any British military action. The Free State forces won the civil war, but for Dublin it suffered severe losses. Thus, many of the city's finest buildings had been destroyed and Dublin had to be rebuilt.

    Politically, the Irish Free State came into existence for 15 years. In 1937, the Irish government sent a constitutional proposal for a referendum, and the proposal involved the creation of the Republic of Ireland, where a president replaced the British monarch's representative as the highest formal authority. The Constitution was adopted with just over 56% of the valid votes.

    The reconstruction of Dublin
    In the 1920s, the Irish Free State administration adopted several initiatives to expand and modernize Dublin. However, several of the plans were not realized until the 1930s, when more funds were available. One of the larger projects was the construction of proper housing for the capital's poor population. On that occasion arose among others the suburbs of Crumlin and Marino. In the center, many new buildings were not possible.

    Over the following decades, Dublin's development lay quite still, and the city and country were among the poorest in Western Europe. It took until the 1950s and 1960s before the new buildings really got going again. Especially in the 1960s, much was developed in the city, and much of Dublin's 18th-century building was lost in redevelopments that made way for new offices and apartments.

    The brutal demolition of ancient architecture today was part of an Irish flow that sought to put away physical symbols of the colonial period of the past. Perhaps the most manifest example was the pillar Nelson's Pillar, which stood in Dublin from 1809 to 1966, where the Irish destroyed the British memorial. In the 1970s and 1980s, things were expanded slightly differently than in the 1960s. During these decades the Georgian facades were retained and newly built behind the facades.

    Dublin since the 1980s
    Ireland joined the European Community (EC) in 1973 as one of Western Europe's poorest regions. Through the membership of the EC, which has since joined the European Union, the Irish economy, through European means, underwent significant developments from the 1980s.

    In the 1990s, Ireland's economy boomed and it could be seen in Dublin's streets. Before letting parts of the city as construction sites or dilapidated areas, but with the new economic situation, countless buildings were started. New homes and offices were popping up in many places in Dublin such as the International Financial Services Center along North Quays.

    Dublin's transportation system was also expanded. The city's old trams had run until the 1950s, when buses had taken over the traffic. In 2004, Luas' trams opened and the railway network has since expanded both north and south of the Liffey River. Dublin Airport has also been expanded and welcomes a large number of tourists each year to Ireland and the capital Dublin.
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Dublin, Ireland

Top attractions

Trinity College, Dublin

  • Trinity College: Trinity College is Dublin's world-famous university, founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592. It was established with the universities of Oxford and Cambridge as inspiration. It is here the Old Library with Book of Kells can be visited.
  • National Museum: This museum first opened its doors in 1890, and as the country's national museum, it has of course fine collections from where you get a solid impression of Ireland's art, culture and natural history.

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

  • Christ Church Cathedral: Christ Church Cathedral is a cathedral of the Anglican Church of Ireland and it has been the seat of the church's archbishop since the English Reformation.
  • St. Patrick's Cathedral: St. Patrick's Cathedral is one of the two Anglican cathedrals in Dublin, and it is considered a national cathedral for the Anglican Church of Ireland. The church was founded in 1191.

Temple Bar, Dublin

  • Temple Bar: The Temple Bar neighborhood, which consists of relatively low-rise houses in a number of narrow streets, was a run-down poor neighborhood until the 1960s. Now it is one of Dublin's most popular with a living nightlife.
  • Dublin Castle: Dublin Castle is a major building that historically has made significant political impact on Dublin and Ireland. From here, Ireland has been ruled for centuries.
Trips in the area

Wicklow Mountains, Ireland

  • Wicklow Mountains: If you want to venture out into the wild nature of Ireland, the large hilly area, the Wicklow Mountains, is an extremely good choice. It is Ireland's largest highland area and gives a good impression of the country's varied nature.

Glendalough, Ireland

  • Glendalough: Glendalough is a small town that is incredibly beautifully located in an elongated valley at two lakes in the Wicklow Mountains. In Glendalough there are monastic ruins that go all the way back to Saint Kevin's first buildings of the 500s.

Malahide Castle, Ireland

  • Malahide Castle: Malahide Castle is located in the town of Malahide, and it looks like a real medieval castle with its characteristic towers. The history of the castle started with the knight Richard Talbot, who came to Ireland in 1174.

Newgrange, Ireland

  • Newgrange: Newgrange is a construction located in the open countryside west of the town of Drogheda. The site was established as a burial mound with a central structure surrounded by two rows of boulders around the year 3200 BC.
  • Castletown House: The Mansion Castletown House is a large country house built in Palladian style in the years 1722-1732 for the Irish President William Conolly.
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