For the many who ask Google each month, the answer is… DUBLIN!
The official Irish name for Dublin is Baile Átha Cliath or Áth Cliath, and the English name comes from the Irish words Dubh Linn meaning ‘black pool’. The city is near the midpoint of Ireland’s east coast at the mouth of the River Liffey, and is at the centre of the Dublin Region. Originally a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and subsequently became the island’s primary city after the Norman invasion.
Situated in the province of Leinster, the city covers 44 square miles and the wider urban area 356 square miles. The population is approximately 1.66 million, however it’s predicted this might reduce for the first time since 1861 over the next few years. The CSO (Central Statistics Office) also predicts however that it will move upwards to 2.1 million by 2021.
European Capital of Sport in 2010
Approximately 50% of the capital’s inhabitants are under 25, and it was voted the friendlist European city in 2007 and again in 2009 (someone obviously forgot to include Cork in the vote!). It has been selected as the European Capital of Sport in 2010, and is host to the 4th largest stadium in the continent, Croke Park, which has a capacity of 82,500. Croke Park (Páirc an Chrócaigh) has been selected as the venue for the UEFA Cup Final in 2011.
European Capital of Science in 2012.
The University of Dublin is the oldest in Ireland (16th century) and its sole college, Trinity, was established by Royal Charter in 1592 and has 15,000 students. The National University of Ireland is also in Dublin, as is University College Dublin, the largest in Ireland with over 22,000 students.
Dublin City University (10,000 students) specialises in business, engineering, and science. Dublin Institute of Technology focusses on technical subjects as well as arts and humanities. The National College of Art and Design, and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art Design and Technology, provide training and research in the art, design and media technology fields. The capital is also home to Dublin Business School, the National College of Ireland, and the Institute of European Affairs.
The city has been selected as the European Capital of Science in 2012.
On the site of a Danish Viking fortress in the 930′s, Dublin Castle was built between 1204 and 1230. Viking power was broken at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 when the Vikings and their allies were decisively defeated by an Irish army under the command of King Brian Boru (Brian Boru also died in the battle), and the castle was later constructed under the order of King John of England. Here’s the Dublin Castle website.
Dublin Airport is 10km north of the city. If you’re thinking of visiting you can get details about airlines and flight schedules at Dublin Airport.
Dublin Ferry Port is 2 miles from the city centre, and Dun Laoghaire Ferry Port is six miles south of the city – 30 minutes by train to the centre. Five ferry companies operate up to sixteen sailings daily, connecting Dublin with Holyhead (Wales), Liverpool (UK) and Douglas (Isle of Man).
Dublin Ferry Port Tourist Information and Stena Line.
Places to stay
There’s plenty of Dublin hotels, B&Bs, guest houses and hostels to choose from so it’s well worth shopping around and comparing:
Places to see / things to do
Dublin is rich with tourist attractions and there are many websites to help you on your way. Here’s a few to point you in the right direction:
And here’s some photos recently taken by Bernadette on an early morning walk in the city…
Hopefully that’s enough to get you started, and if you’re on the way enjoy the visit!
PS: the “real capital of Ireland” is Cork, and the capital of Cork is Ballydehob! but i’ll come back to that another day ;-)