DUBLIN IN THE MIST
“While the world did gaze, in deep amaze, at those fearless men, but few, Who bore the fight that freedom’s light might shine through the foggy dew”…
“Foggy Dew” is the common title of several Irish ballads. A very popular pub at the Temple Bar area, which is probably a good idea to visit, is named after the song. This phrase highlights the spirit of the city in the most characteristic way.
This week, EXALLO travels to Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, such a youthful, vibrant city thanks to a large student population that lives and studies there. Our ambassador, Chris, was there to capture all these beautiful photos!
Temple Bar, the area at the heart of Dublin, known widely as Dublin’s “Cultural Quarter”, has a very lively nightlife that is very popular with both students and tourists. It is believed that the name was borrowed from the storied Temple Bar district in London, where the main toll-gate into London was located dating back to medieval times. Temple Bar was once derelict but was then revitalized in the 1990’s and became the favorite place for entertainment in the city.
James Joyce, probably the most important Irish author, welcomes you to The Temple Bar pub with a book in his hand. It is his famous short story collection, “Dubliners”. He tried one of our bow ties on and oh, my, does he look dandy! One of his most memorable quotes will give you shivers: “Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.”
Near Temple Bar, you can find Grafton Street, one of the two principal shopping streets in Dublin’s city center, the other being Henry Street. Buskers, including musicians, poets and mime artists commonly perform to the shopping crowds, giving the area a certain flair. Who remembers the opening scene of the wonderful 2006 film “Once”, starring Glen Hansard of The Frames? He was a former Grafton Street busker himself.
Trinity College, one of the most significant tourist attractions in Dublin, retains a tranquil collegiate atmosphere despite its location in the center of a capital city. The college, founded in 1592, is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland, also considered to be the best university in the country. The amazing old Library of Trinity College contains over 4.5 million books and the famous manuscript “the Book of Kells,” an illuminated Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament, probably created at c. 800. It is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and it is considered Ireland’s finest national treasure, visited daily by hundreds of tourists.
You can find Oscar Wilde, the 19th century Irish playwright, novelist, and poet, author of “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” resting at the gardens of St. Stephen’s Green. St Stephen’s Green is one the largest (89,000 m2) of the parks in Dublin. The current landscape of the park was designed by William Sheppard, which officially opened to the public in 1880.
If you visit Dublin, don’t miss visiting Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. It was founded in 1191 and it is the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland. With its 43-meter spire, St. Patrick’s is the tallest church in Ireland and also the largest one.
You should also visit Christ Church Cathedral which was founded around 1030 by Dúnán, the first bishop of Dublin, a Norse king. The cathedral as it exists today is heavily Victorianised due to the extensive renovations carried out (between 1871-1878) at the expense of a Dublin whiskey distiller, Henry Roe, who gave £230,000 (€35m today!) to save the cathedral.
The brewery of Arthur Guinness (1725–1803) at St. James’s Gate is the home of Guinness, the Irish dry stout. The draught beer’s thick, creamy head comes from mixing the beer with nitrogen and carbon dioxide when poured. The burnt flavor is derived from roasted unmalted barley. There are tours of the brewery happening every day, so get a ticket and get going!
Dublin is renowned for its Georgian architecture. It boasts some of the world’s finest Georgian buildings.
One can also admire the most modern side of town at the Docklands area. Also known as “Silicon Docks”, Dublin’s Tech Quarter is where Global giants such as Google, Facebook and Twitter are based.
The greater Dublin area is home to approximately 2 million people. The name Dublin literally means “Dark Pool” (from the Gaelic word Dublind, “dubh” meaning dark and “lind” pool). Dublin is also known as “Baile Átha Cliath” in Irish, (meaning “Ford of the Hurdles”) . These are both references to different parts of River Liffey, which divides the city in two, between the Northside and the Southside. Dublin was established as a Viking settlement in the 10th century.
This little tour of Dublin is by no means exhaustive. Now that you had a taste, maybe you’d like to come back for more!