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DUBLIN, IRELAND

I spend some time in England, visiting friends, so I take the opportunity to know some place close to England, and one of those places was Ireland. I just had the opportunity to visit the capital Dublin, but I had no more time to visit others places in the country so I can´t complain.

I was visiting the Kilmainham jail, famous because was there where some movies were setting, like “In the Name of the Father”, “The Italian Job” and other movies. Of course I was in the Guinness Factory and I was enjoying my black beer.
Dublin is located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin Region. Founded as a Viking settlement, the city has been Ireland's primary city for most of the island's history since medieval times.

Today, it is an economic, administrative and cultural centre for the island of Ireland, has been recognised as an emerging global city by the Loughborough University group's 1999 inventory and has one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city.
The name Dublin is derived from the Irish name Dubh Linn (meaning "black pool"). The common name for the city in Modern Irish is Baile Átha Cliath (meaning "town of the hurdled ford"). Áth Cliath is a place-name referring to a fording point of the Liffey in the vicinity of Heuston Station. Baile Átha Cliath was an early Christian monastery which is believed to have been situated in the area of Aungier Street currently occupied by Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church.

The subsequent Scandinavian settlement was on the River Poddle, a tributary of the Liffey, to the East of Christchurch, in the area now known as Wood Quay. The Dubh Linn was a lake used by the Scandinavians to moor their ships and was connected to the Liffey by the Poddle. The Dubh Linn and Poddle were covered during the early 1700s, and as the city expanded they were largely forgotten about. The Dubh Linn was situated where the Castle Garden is now located, opposite the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle.

Táin Bó Cuailgne also known as The Cattle Raid of Cooley refers to Dublind rissa ratter Áth Cliath, meaning Dublin, which is called Ath Cliath. In the Irish language, Dubh is correctly pronounced as Duv or Duf. The city's original pronunciation is preserved in Old Norse as Dyflin, Old English as Difelin, and modern Manx as Divlyn. Historically, in the traditional Gaelic script used for the Irish language, bh was written with a dot over the b, rendering 'Du Linn' or 'Dublinn'. Those without a knowledge of Irish omitted the dot and spelled the name as Dublin.

The writings of the Greek astronomer and cartographer Ptolemy provide perhaps the earliest reference to human habitation in the area now known as Dublin. In around A.D. 140 he referred to a settlement he called Eblana Civitas. The settlement 'Dubh Linn' dates perhaps as far back as the first century BC and later a monastery was built there, though the town was established in about 841 by the Norse. The modern city retains the Anglicised Irish name of the former and the original Irish name of the latter.

Dublin was ruled by the Norse for most of the time between 841 and 999, when it was sacked by Brian Bo
ru, the King of Cashel. Although Dublin still had a Norse king after the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, Norse influence waned under a growing Celtic supremacy until the conquest of Ireland which was launched from Britain in 1169-1172. The last high king (Ard Rí) of

Dublin also had local city administration via its Corporation from the Middle Ages. This represented the city's guild-based oligarchy until it was reformed in the 1840s on increasingly democratic lines.

From the 17th century the city expanded rapidly, helped by the Wide Streets Commission. Georgian Dublin was, for a short time, the second city of the British Empire after London and the fifth largest European city. Much of Dublin's most notable architecture dates from this time. In 1759, the founding of the Guinness brewery at St. James's Gate resulted in a considerable economic impact for the city. For much of the time since its foundation, the Guinness brewery was the largest employer in the city but Catholics were confined to the lower echelons of employment at Guinness and only entered management level in the 1960s. After Irish independence the Guinness Corporate headquarters were moved to London in the 1930s to avoid Irish taxation and a rival brewery to Dublin was opened in London at Park Royal to supply the UK. In 1742 Handel's "Messiah" was performed for the first time in New Musick Hall in Fishamble Street with 26 boys and five men from the combined choirs of St.Patrick's and Christ Church cathedrals participating.

After the Act of Union, 1800, with the seat of government moving to Westminster, Dublin entered a period of decline. Dublin was still the centre of administration and a transport hub for much of Ireland. Dublin played no major role in the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: Ireland had no native source of coal, the fuel of the time, and Dublin was not a centre of ship manufacture, the other main driver of industrial development in Britain and Ireland. Belfast developed much faster than Dublin during this period on a mixture of international trade, factory-based linen cloth production and shipbuilding.

The Easter Rising of 1916 took place in several parts of the city, bringing much physical destruction to the city centre. The Anglo-Irish War and Irish Civil War contributed even more destruction, leaving some of its finest buildings in ruins. The Irish Free State government rebuilt the city centre and located the Dáil (parliament) in Leinster House
The formation of the new state resulted in changed fortunes for Dublin. It benefitted more from independence than any Irish city, though it took a long time to become obvious. Through The Emergency (World War II), until the 1960s, Dublin remained a capital out of time: the city centre in particular remained at an architectural standstill, even nicknamed the last 19th Century City of Europe. This made the city ideal for historical film production, with many productions including The Blue Max and My Left Foot capturing the cityscape in this period. This became the foundation of later successes in cinematography and film-making. With increasing prosperity, modern architecture was intro
duced to the city, though a vigorous campaign started in parallel to restore the Georgian greatness of Dublin's streets, rather than lose the grandeur forever. Since 1997, the landscape of Dublin has changed immensely, with enormous private sector
and state development of housing, transport, and business. (See also Development and Preservation in Dublin). Some well-known Dublin street corners are still named for the pub or business which used to occupy the site before closure or redevelopment.

Since the beginning of Anglo-Norman rule in the 12th century, the city has functioned as the capital of the island of Ireland in the varying geopolitical entities:

the Lordship of Ireland (1171–1541)
the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800)
the island as part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801–1922)
the Irish Republic (1919–1922),
From 1922, following the partition of Ireland, it became the capital of the Irish Free State (1922–1949) and now is the capital of the Republic of Ireland. One of the memorials to commemorate that time is the Garden of Remembrance.

In a 2003 European-wide survey by the BBC, questioning 11,200 residents of 112 urban and rural areas, Dublin was the best capital city in Europe to live in.

A person from either the city or county of Dublin is often referred to as a "Dub".

The city has a world-famous literary history, having produced many prominent literary figures, including Nobel laureates William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. Other influential writers and playwrights from Dublin include Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker. It is arguably most famous, however, as the location of the greatest works of James Joyce. His most celebrated work, Ulysses, is set in Dublin and full of topical detail. Dubliners is a collection of short stories by Joyce about incidents and characters typical of residents of the city in the early part of the 20th century. Additional widely celebrated writers from the city include J.M. Synge, Seán O'Casey, Brendan Behan, Maeve Binchy, and Roddy Doyle. Ireland's biggest libraries and literary museums are found in Dublin, including the National Print Museum of Ireland and National Library of Ireland.

There are several theatres within the city centre, and various world famous actors have emerged from the Dublin theatrical scene, including Noel Purcell, Brendan Gleeson, Stephen Rea, Colin Farrell, Colm Meaney and Gabriel Byrne. The best known theatres include the Gaiety, the Abbey, the Olympia and the Gate. The Gaiety specialises in musical and operatic productions, and is popular for opening its doors after the evening theatre production to host a variety of live music, dancing, and films. The Abbey was founded in 1904 by a group that included Yeats with the aim of promoting indigenous literary talent. It went on to provide a breakthrough for some of the city's most famous writers, such as Synge, Yeats himself and George Bernard Shaw. The Gate was founded in 1928 to promote European and American Avant Garde works. The largest theatre is the Mahony Hall in The Helix at Dublin City University in Ballymun.

Dublin is also the focal point for much of Irish Art and the Irish artistic scene. The Book of Kells, a world-famous manuscript produced by Celtic Monks in A.D. 800 and an example of Insular art, is on display in Trinity College. The Chester Beatty Library houses the famous collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and decorative arts assembled by American mining millionaire Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875–1968). The collections date from 2700 B.C. onwards and are drawn from Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Work by local artists is often put on public display around St. Stephen's Green, the main public park in the city centre. In addition large art galleries are found across the city, including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery, the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, The City Arts Centre, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, The Project Arts Centre and The Royal Hibernian Academy.

Three branches of the National Museum of Ireland are located in Dublin: Archaeology in Kildare Street, Decorative Arts and History in Collins Barracks and Natural History in Merrion Street.



November 2005

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