Are you looking for some amazing fun facts about Dublin? You’ve to the right place!
Dublin is the capital city of the Republic of Ireland. Mainly known for its pubs, music culture and being home to the beer brand Guinness, there are yet way more things to know about Dublin!
Dublin is an incredibly interesting city. It warms up your heart in a way only a few places do. It was founded about 2,000 years ago. Many things happened during this time which makes it now a cultural hub.
After taking many walking tours in Dublin, I got to learn a lot of Dublin fun facts and today, I want to share them all with you!
Here are 22 facts about Dublin that will blow your mind!
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Table of Contents
1 – The name Dublin comes from an old Irish Celtic name meaning “Black Pool”
Dublin’s original name was “dubh Linn”. It means Black Pool in old Irish Celtic and was referring to a deep and dirty pool located in Dublin Castle.
This is where the Poddle stream meets the river Liffey and where the Vikings would leave their ships.
Today, it is a beautiful and green space (as you can see on the photo) but back then, it was not the nicest of place.
Please note that there is a similar story in Edinburgh, Scotland. If you’d like to discover it, check out all our fun facts about Edinburgh.
2 – Dublin was the most important Viking town in Ireland
Dublin has been founded twice by the Vikings. The first time in 841 AD and the second time in 917. It then became a very wealthy settlement and developed into the City of Dublin.
Nowadays, Dublin is the biggest city in Ireland and on the island of Ireland (Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland is the second biggest on the island).
3 – The series “Vikings” has been partially filmed near Dublin
Have you ever watched the TV Show Vikings on History channel? Then you may remember that the beginning of the 5th season features the Battle of Clontarf.
This battle actually happened on the 23th of April 1014.
The show’s production chose the Wicklow mountains to film it, which is just a short drive south of Dublin.
4- Dublin is home to the widest street in Europe
O’Connell Street is the widest street in Europe. It measures 49m in width.
Although this is quite an interesting fact about Dublin, you might have thought that it was the Champs Elysees in Paris. This isn’t completely wrong.
The Champs Elysees is the widest Avenue in Europe. O’Connell Street is the widest street in Europe.
5 – Dublin has given the world amazing bands such as U2, The Dubliners, Kodaline, The Script and many more!
The Irish have a passion for music and one of the most famous Dublin bands of all time would be U2.
The rock band was formed in 1976. They sold more than 170 million records worldwide.
Their songs always have been very politically and socially oriented with an emphasis on their Irish culture such as “Sunday Bloody Sunday”.
6 – The Clarence Hotel is owned by U2 lead singer, Bono
Located in Temple Bar, the Clarence Hotel was acquired by Bono in 1992.
As a matter of fact, he also owns another few buildings in Temple Bar.
7 – Dublin is home to the beer brand Guinness
This is one of the most well known Dublin history facts but still worth a mention.
Guinness was created by Arthur Guinness in his brewery at St James Gate in 1759. Guinness is still produced there to this day. If you are going to Dublin, you can visit the Guinness Storehouse.
It’s one of the best things to do in Dublin! It has 7 floors so you will need a few hours ahead of you to visit it but believe me, you won’t regret it.
You learn a lot of information about Dublin and Guinness and even get to pour your own drink. It’s a lot of fun.
8 – Guinness has a 9000-year lease at £45 per annum
Arthur Guinness signed the lease in 1759 for the unused brewery. It is incredibly well located and while £45 for a 7-floor factory was already not that much money back then, needless to say that today, it’s definitely not a lot!
It is now the brewery and the Guinness Storehouse. Today, the Guinness family still owns 51% of it and since it was a 9,000-year lease, they still pay this amount for the brewery.
9 – There is no catholic cathedral in Dublin
If you are familiar with Irish history and particularly the Troubles, you may know that Ireland is a catholic country, unlike the UK that is protestant.
Catholicism was introduced by Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
Even though Ireland is a catholic country, there is no catholic cathedral in Dublin.
There used to be one but it was changed by English sovereigns and became protestant.
Ireland is an independent country nowadays so we would expect to find a catholic cathedral in Dublin but yet it wasn’t reconverted. Part of the history I guess.
10 – Arthur and Olivia Guinness had 21 children
Although only 6 sons and 4 daughters survived, the creators of Guinness had in 21 children altogether.
This is worth being mentioned as in the late 1700s, surviving 21 childbirths was extraordinary. It would actually still be nowadays!
11 – Over 10 million pints of Guinness are drunk per day
Guinness is a very popular beer. In average, there are over 10 million pints of Guinness consumed per day.
12 – Temple Bar used to be a sandbank
Bar means “banks” in old English.
The area by the river belong to the Temple family. That’s how the name Temple bar was invented.
It had nothing to do with the pubs and it wasn’t a very nice place at the time.
But as Dublin grew, South Dublin became wealthier and Temple bar became that very hype district that we know today.
13 – Dublin has its very own version of Tom & Jerry
In the 1860s, a big clean of the crypt of Christ Church Cathedral was ordered.
While cleaning the pipes, they found a perfectly preserved cast of a cat chasing a rat.
They decided to exhibit them in a glass and nicknamed them Tom and Jerry.
Since then they became a very popular attraction!
You can still see them in the crypt of Christ Church Cathedral.
14 – Trinity college boasts many famous graduates such as Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker and Jack Gleeson
Did you know that the authors of Dracula or Gulliver’s Travels were students at Trinity College? Now you do!
These people have changed the world in their own way and proves how much of a brilliant university Trinity College is.
More recently, Jack Gleeson, better known for his role as King Joffrey in Games of Thrones, graduated from Trinity College.
He was also named a scholar.
15 – Queen Elizabeth first visit in Ireland was in 2011
Queen Elizabeth visited pretty much every country in the world but yet had not step a foot in Ireland until 2011.
Due to this chaotic history between Ireland and the UK, it took a very long time for the sovereign to visit Ireland.
In 2011, the president of Ireland, Mary McAleese invited the queen to Dublin.
The queen and her husband, the Duke of York, made their ever first state visit to Ireland on the 17 of May 2011.
The Queen was wearing a green outfit and started her speech in Irish.
This was a very emotional moment for the whole Irish population.
There is so much history between Ireland and the UK.
This state visit opened up the 2 countries to knew horizons which make it one of the most awesome facts about Dublin!
16 – Dublin is Europe’s Silicon Valley
In the last 20 years, Dublin became a technology hub. All tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Etsy… have based their European headquarters in Dublin.
This is mainly due to the fact that Ireland offered very advantageous tax schemes for companies.
17 – The relics of Saint Valentine are in Dublin
Have you ever wonder where Valentine’s day came from and who was Saint Valentine? He is the Saint Patron of lovers.
He was born and died in Italy but was buried in Ireland.
The relics of Saint Valentine rest in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin.
18 – Gaelic football and hurling are the most popular sports in Dublin
Hurling is an ancient outdoor sport with Irish and Gaelic origins.
It is considered being the fastest sport on earth.
Gaelic football is the Irish version of football. It’s played with two teams of 15.
These two sports are from far the most popular in Dublin and Ireland in general.
The entire city goes crazy on match days.
The Irish are very attached to these sports and support the players more than they would for anything else.
It is important to note that professional Gaelic football and hurling players are not being paid for doing that.
19 – The Guinness Book of Records is from Dublin
Now that all these Guinness facts were mentioned, you might have already understood this fact about Dublin but still here is the story behind it!
The Guinness Book of Records was an initiative from the Brewery’s managing director. It started in 1951 and was supposed to only be a marketing giveaway.
No-one could have foreseen how big it would become but yet it did!
20 – The O’Connell Bridge is wider than it’s long!
Very often described as square, the O’Connell Bridge is actually wider than it’s long.
This is quite a unique fact about Dublin as it is the only bridge in Europe with this particularity.
The O’Connell Bridge is also one of Dublin’s most popular landmark. You can take it to cross the river Liffey.
It marks the limit between Dublin North (working-class district) and Dublin South (wealthy part of the city).
21 – Dublin is home to the oldest pub in Ireland
It’s called the Brazen Head. It has been running since 1198! If you want to go there.
Here is the address: 20 Lower Bridge St, Usher’s Quay, Dublin, D08 WC64, Ireland
22 – St Stephen’s Green used to be use for witch burning
St Stephen’s Green Park is one of the most popular parks in Dublin. It’s located in the city centre and home to beautiful statues and pathways. A lot of locals enjoy going on walks in this park and for good reason, it’s beautiful.
When you see all this greenery, you wouldn’t necessarily think that it used to be a place where public executions take place. And yet, here we are.
Until 1663, it was used for for public executions including witch burnings.
The land was sold by Dublin corporation in 1664 and obviously no witch burning has taken place there since.
23 – Hitler’s brother was married to a woman from Dublin
This is by far one of the most surprising facts about Dublin. It’s not really well known but yet quite interesting.
Hitler had a brother who was named Alois Hitler Jr. In 1909, he met a woman from Dublin, Bridget Dowling, at the Dublin Horse Show.
Eventually they eloped and had a son named William Stuart-Houston.
If that’s something you’re interested in, there is a book about her and her story: The Memoirs of Bridget Hitler.
24 – There used to be bodysnatchers at Glasnevin Cemetery
This is definitely one of the creepy facts about Dublin Ireland but unfortunately, not that unusual.
The Glasnevin Cemetery is a large Victorian cemetery located in the neighbourhood of Glasnevin (north of the city centre).
In the 1800s, there were a lot of medical discoveries being done and in order to conduct the experiments, they needed bodies. For this reasons, a lot of body snatchers started to steal fresh bodies out of the cemeteries.
To prevent this problem, surveillance towers were built in the Glasnevin Cemetery. These towers are now well known because they are very pretty and a lot of tourists come here to take photos but their origin is actually not that glamourous.
Related fact: Similar things happened at the Greyfriar Kirkyard in Edinburgh. This cemetery is now known as a Harry Potter locations in Edinburgh but back in the days, it was a creepy place too. They tackled the problem differently though and would place cages on top of the new graves.
25 – Kilmainham is the largest Viking cemetery outside of Scandinavia
As previously mentioned, Dublin was named by the Vikings. They spent a considerable amount of time in Ireland, much more than anywhere else in this part of Europe and that’s a Dublin fact that was even confirmed by the discovery of 50 burials in Kilmainham.
Quite a few burials were discovered during the 19th century but most of them were actually excavated in the 50s and 60 when some railway work took place.
While there are much bigger Viking cemeteries in Scandinavia, this is actually the biggest outside of this region.
26 – The Easter Rising started in Dublin
The Easter Rising is one of the most important events in Irish history. It took place in 1916 and started in Dublin (on Easter Monday).
The Easter Rising was the insurrection of the Irish Republican Army against the British Government.
It was a carefully planned event that should have been taken place nationwide but in the end was pretty much confined to Dublin.
While it was quickly stopped by the British Army, the Easter Rising is considered to be the event that paved the way to the independence of Ireland (which was obtained in 1922).
Today, you can still see some signs of the Easter Rising, especially on O’Connell Monument. This is one of the most famous landmarks in the city and if you look closely enough, you’ll see there are still some bullet holes in there.
27 – Leo the Lion (MGM) was born in Dublin Zoo
Do you know the mascot of the MGM logo? The one we can see at the beginning of all Paramount movies?
Well this is a real lion, his name is Leo and he was born in 1956 in Dublin Zoo. It’s the 8th and current lion and was featured at the beginning of a lot of movies.
He was also even parodied by Family Guy and Pokémon!
We hope you enjoyed these Dublin Ireland facts and that you learnt plenty about this beautiful city!
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