Dublin is the capital city of the Republic of Ireland. Mainly known for its pubs, music culture and being home of 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.
Here are 21 facts about Dublin that will blow your mind!
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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.
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 band 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
Guinness has been 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.
8 – Guinness has a 9000 lease at £45 per annum
Arthur Guinness signed the lease in 1759 for the unused brewery. It is now the brewery and the Guinness Storehouse. Today, the Guinness family still owns 51% of it.
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, 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 “bank” 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
There are many more historic facts about Dublin. Culture is all around in Ireland and if you want to learn more about this awesome capital city, here are some travel tips for Dublin!
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