Unique, lively, spellbinding and addictive
A city packed with interest and beauty, yet one that never takes itself too seriously; Dublin has a reputation out of all proportion to its small size. Founded by the Vikings around 837 beside the black pool, or dubh linn, the city reached its golden age in the 18th century, when the city’s handsome public buildings and elegant Georgian squares were built. Today, the city has a modern edge with great restaurants and a lively nightlife, making it one of the hottest destinations in Europe.
This lively city on the River Liffey is a thriving cultural centre, and is home to literary giants, Shaw, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett. But it is the local ‘craic’ of the native Dubliners that lends the city the image of being committed to having a good time. Visitors will always receive a warm welcome, and lasting memories.
Dublin has plenty of historic and contemporary sights and a variety of exciting things to do, the bonus being that the greatest attractions are packed close together in the city centre. O’Connell Bridge over the River Liffey is a good place to start sightseeing in Dublin. The river divides the old city on the southern side from the not-so-old city on the northern side, where the General Post Office in O’Connell Street, the city’s widest and most important traffic artery, was badly damaged during the 1916 Easter Uprising. Trinity College on the south side, reflects modern Irish society, in that the once protestant college, founded in 1952, amended its enrolment policy in the 1970s. The whole Trinity complex is inspiring, with cobblestone quadrangles, lawns and trees, and the Old Library, a magnificent building dating from 1732. Also housed on the campus is the Dublin Experience, a multimedia presentation outlining the city’s history.
Dublin has a wealth of grand Georgian buildings, with a number of museums and cultural centres offering a fascinating glimpse into Dublin’s history, and celebrating the city’s literary giants through the ages. Dublin’s oldest building, Christ Church Cathedral, was built in 1169, and the more recent St Patrick’s Cathedral, dates from 1191. Both are stunning with a collection of fine monumental sculptures and medieval brasses. The National Gallery has a collection of works from virtually every school of European painting, including the world’s best collection of Irish painters.
Take a break from the intellectual pursuits, and call at the visitor centre at the Old Jameson Distillery, one of Ireland’s most famous whiskeys. Or walk by the Guinness Brewery, home of the world’s most famous stout, then call into the Guinness Hop Store, where there is a ‘World of Guinness’ exhibition, and a re-created Victorian pub where you can sample a pint of Dublin’s finest.
Dublin is rich in pubs, and a walk over the elegant Ha’penny Bridge leads to Dublin’s ‘Cultural Quarter’, known as Temple Bar. This block of cobbled streets with two-century-old buildings has become Dublin’s entertainment and nightlife centre, with colourful shops, the best choice of Dublin’s restaurants, nightclubs and pubs.
A city with a lot on offer, handsome public buildings, attractive streets, river quays, superb museums and atmospheric pubs, Dublin is unique, lively, spellbinding and addictive.
Loganair flies to Dublin from Inverness.
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