Dublin

Dublin is the focal point for the isle of Republic of Ireland. This city of over a million people boasts an exceptional history. Dublin is overflowing with impressive monuments of the past, while its present and future look promising due to its people and the country's vibrant economy, which, to be fair, is very much dependent on the capital city.

Today's Dublin is the outcome of a convoluted and turbulent history which saw numerous major powers of the day tussling for control and sovereignty.

Official records state that Dublin was founded in 988. However, if Dublin had originated from a 140AD settlement called Eblana, the city would be significantly older than its official age. The international name as we know it is believed to have come from Dubh Linn, meaning “black pool”. Interestingly, although the city bears the official Irish name of Baile Átha Cliath, it started life as a Viking settlement. The Vikings desired the city as their own so much so that they raided it several times before finally staying for good. The present day Wood Quay in the city center was a home of these Norse explorers.

Though the Vikings and the Celtic Irish finally managed to get along with each other by the 11th century, there would soon come another turning point in the city's history. In the 12th century, the Normans came to occupy Dublin and its surroundings, the so-called Pale area. From then on, Dublin's fate was reluctantly linked to its larger neighbor, England. Though it has been a nest for Irish revolutionaries ever since, Dublin had its golden age under the British in the 18th century, when it was second only to London in size and importance. Unsurprisingly, it was during this period (in 1759, to be precise) when Arthur Guinness founded his world-famous brewery.

founded his world-famous brewery.

The mid-18th century saw the disastrous Irish Famine. Dublin did not escape unscathed, though it was still better off than the rest of the country. Throughout the entire 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century, Dublin was the hub of anti-British resentment, which at first brought it disappointment and long years of decline. The 1798 failed uprising against the British resulted in London dissolving the Irish Parliament and then enforcing a union between the two opposing countries. Gradually, however, the Irish activists were bringing positive changes, not only in politics, but also in the fields of literature and the arts. It was in Dublin where Douglas Hyde started the Gaelic League to revive the Irish language. While in the 19th and 20th centuries, the Celtic Revival saw great masters like W.B. Yeats promoting Irish literature and arts.

In 1916, the streets of Dublin witnessed a battle for the future of the country. The 1916 Easter Uprising failed, but it set a historic process in motion that eventually led to the long-awaited independence and the establishment of the Irish Republic. It wasn't until the 1990s, however, that Dublin and the Republic saw times of prosperity. A decade of unprecedented economic growth, record-low unemployment and impressive budget surpluses has benefited Dublin, which has always been the primary business center of the Republic. The economic pace has slackened slightly in the first years of the new millennium, but Dublin continues to thrive. It still attracts streams of immigrants, both from the rest of the country as well as from beyond the national borders, looking for jobs (especially in the IT industry) and a better life in one of Europe's premiere cities.