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Dublin

Dublin [1] (Irish: Baile tha Cliath, "Town of the Hurdled Ford") is the capital city of Ireland. Its vibrancy, nightlife and tourist attractions are noteworthy, and it is the most popular entry point for international visitors to Ireland. As a city, it is disproportionately large for the size of the country (2011 pop. Greater Dublin Region 1.8 million); well over a quarter of the Republic's population lives in the metropolitan area. The centre is, however, relatively small and can be navigated by foot, with most of the population living in suburbs.

Understand

History

Founded in 841, Dublin was originally settled by Vikings amongst a population of Celtic tribes. In the 9th century the Danes captured Dublin and had control until 1171 when they were expelled by King Henry II of England. By the 14th century the king of England controlled Dublin and the nearby area referred to as “the Pale”.

When the English Civil Wars ended in 1649, O'Connell Street; Spire and General Post OfficeOliver Cromwell took over. Dublin experienced huge growth and development in the 17th century because many Protestant refugees from Europe came to Dublin. By the 17th century Dublin was the second greatest city, only behind London, and a period when great Georgian style building were constructed that still stand today. Georgian style architecture was popular from 1720 to 1840 during the times when George I, George II, George III, and George IV of England were ruling.

In 1800, the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland abolished the Irish Parliament. From this point on, the Irish worked to gain their independence from Great Britain, which they finally won in 1922. The Easter rising in 1916 and the War of Independence greatly helped Ireland win their freedom. One event remembered as a key moment in Irish history is the Easter rising in 1916.

A failed attempt to take over the several important buildings, among them the General Post Office on O'Connell Street, led to the arrest of hundreds and execution of 15, now considered martyrs for the cause. Many believe that this event helped gain sympathy for the fight for independence from Britain.

Orientation

Dublin is divided by the River Liffey. On the north side of the Liffey is O'Connell Street--the main thoroughfare, which is intersected by numerous shopping streets, including Henry Street and Talbot Street. On the south side are St. Stephen's Green, Grafton Street, Trinity College, Christ Church, St. Patrick's Cathedrals, and many other attractions.Customs House on the Liffey

Dublin postcodes range from Dublin 1 to Dublin 24. As a rule, odd numbers are given to areas north of the River Liffey, while even numbers are given to areas south of the river. Usually, the lower the postcode, the closer to the city centre.

If you're already in the city, the main tourist office [2], located in St. Andrew's Church just off Grafton Street in the city centre (Dublin 2), is a good place to start for information. You can book accommodation and tours there, as well as find general information on where to go and what to do.

Although some of Dublin's finest Georgian architecture was demolished in the mid-20th century, a remarkable amount remains. They were a reminder of the past British imperialism and were pulled without regard to their beauty and architectural significance. They were replaced with modernist or pastiche office blocks, St. Stephen's Green (Dublin 2) being a prime example. Thankfully, attitudes have changed significantly, and Dubliners are now rightly proud of their impressive buildings from all eras.

Climate

Being subject to the moderating effects of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream, Dublin is known for its mild climate.

Contrary to some popular perception, the city is not especially rainy. Its annual rainfall average is only 732.7 mm (28.8 in), lower than London. However, its precipitation is spread out more evenly so that on many days there can be a light shower.

Winters in Dublin are relatively mild when compared with cities in mainland Europe -daytime temperatures generally hover around the 5C (41F), but frost is common during the period November through to February when night time temperatures dip below 0C (32 F) freezing point.

Snow does occur, but it is not very common, and most of Dublin's winter precipitation comes in the form of a chilly rain and hail. The lowest recorded temperature in the city is -12C (10F). It should also be noted that during the first week of January 2010, the city canals froze over for the first time in years--this was a common enough sight back in the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's. It could be said that Dublin's climate is very comparable to that of the northwest United States and southwest Canada, as well as to much of coastal Western Europe.

Summers in Dublin are also mild. The average maximum temperature is 19C (66F) in July, far cooler than even most of the coldest American cities. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Dublin is a mere 29C (87F), which in many other parts of the world, even at its own latitude, is just a typical summer day. Don't plan on too many hot summertime activities. Thunderstorms also don't happen very often in Dublin, on average only four days a year. Overall, the city's climate is mild but would be considered drier and cooler than western and southern parts of the island of Ireland.

 

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