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Christchurch Cathedral - Dublin City

circa 1940

Dublin (Irish: Baile Átha Cliath, is the capital and largest city in Ireland, 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 centre of Viking settlement, the city has been Ireland's capital since medićval times.


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Photo Details

  • County: Dublin City Center
  • Town: South Circular Road
  • Scene: Christchurch Cathedral
  • Date: circa late 1940's


  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
  • Colour images can be printed in black & white if preferred.
  • Read about Dublin below


Dublin (Irish: Baile Átha Cliath, is the capital and largest city in Ireland, 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 centre of Viking settlement, the city has been Ireland's capital since medićval times.

The city of Dublin is the entire area administered by Dublin City Council. However, when most people talk about 'Dublin', they also refer to the contiguous suburban areas that run into the adjacent local authority areas of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin. This area is sometimes known as 'Urban Dublin' or the 'Dublin Metropolitan Area'.

The population of the administrative area controlled by Dublin City Council was 505,739 at the census of 2006. At the same census the Dublin Region population was 1,186,159, and the Greater Dublin Area 1,661,185. (estimated by the CSO to reach 2.1 million by 2021).

A person from Dublin is known as a Dubliner or colloquially as a Dub, or, pejoratively, a Jackeen.

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, and Ireland the most content country in Europe.

Dublin is the third most visited capital city in Europe (after Paris and London) with over four million visitors a year.


The name Dublin is an Hiberno-English derivative of 'Dubh Linn' (Irish, meaning 'black pool'). Historically, in the traditional Gaelic script used for the Irish language, 'bh' was written with a dot over the 'b', viz 'Du? Linn' or 'Du?linn'. The French speaking Normans omitted the dot and spelled the name variously as 'Develyn' or 'Dublin'.

Some sources doubt this derivation, and suggest that 'Dublin' is of Scandinavian origin, cf. Icelandic: djúp lind ('deep pond'). However, the name 'Dubh Linn' pre-dates the arrival of the Vikings in Ireland, and the Old Norse (and modern Icelandic) name for Dublin is simply the words 'Dubh Linn' re-spelled as if they were Old Norse: 'Dyflinn' (correctly pronounced 'Duev-linn' ?the letter 'y' is still pronounced like the vowel in 'ewe' in Modern Norwegian, Swedish, etc., just as it was in Old Norse; Icelandic, while keeping the spelling, has changed this sound to /i/).

The common name for the city in Modern Irish is 'Baile Átha Cliath' ('The Settlement of the Ford of the Reed Hurdles'), which refers to the settlement, founded in 988 by High King Mael Sechnaill II, that adjoined the town of Dubh Linn proper at the Black Pool.


The writings of the Greek astronomer and cartographer Ptolemy, provide perhaps the earliest reference to 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 of was established in about 841 by the Norse. 'Baile Átha Cliath' or simply 'Áth Cliath' was founded in 988, and the two towns eventually became one.

The modern city retains the Anglicised Irish name of the former and the original Irish name of the latter. After the Norman invasion of Ireland, Dublin became Ireland's capital, with much of the power centring on Dublin Castle until independence. From the 14th to late 16th centuries Dublin and the surrounding area, known as the Pale, formed the largest area of Ireland under government control.

From the 17th century the city expanded rapidly, helped by the Wide Streets Commission. Georgian Dublin was, for a time, the second city of the British Empire after London. Much of Dublin's most notable architecture dates from this time. The Easter Rising of 1916 left the capital in an unstable situation and the Anglo-Irish War and Irish Civil War left it in ruins, with many of its finest buildings destroyed. The Irish Free State rebuilt many of the buildings and moved parliament to Leinster House, but took no bold tasks such as remodelling. After The Emergency (World War II), Dublin remained a capital out of time: modernisation was slow, but finally the 1960s saw change begin. In recent years the infrastructure of Dublin has changed immensely, with enormous private and state development of housing, transport, and business. 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 English rule in the 12th century, the city has served as the capital of the island of Ireland in the varying geopolitical entities:

  • the Lordship of Ireland (1171?541)
  • the Kingdom of Ireland (1541?800)
  • the island as part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801?922)
  • the Irish Republic (1919?922)

From 1922, following the partition of Ireland, it served as the capital of the Irish Free State (1922?937) and now as the capital of the Republic of Ireland. (Many of these states co-existed or competed within the same timeframe as rivals within either British or Irish constitutional theory.)

Culture - General situation

Dublin is a major European cultural centre and the origin of many prominent literary figures, including Jonathan Swift, Maeve Binchy, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, J.M. Synge, George Bernard Shaw, Seán O'Casey, Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan, and Roddy Doyle. Dubliners is a collection of short stories by James Joyce about incidents and characters typical of residents of the city in the early part of the 20th century. Ulysses, also by Joyce, is a novel set in Dublin full of topographical detail.

The National Print Museum of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, both the National Gallery and the National Library of Ireland, the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, the Chester Beatty Library and three centres of the National Museum of Ireland are in Dublin.

There are a number of galleries and art centres in the city centre, such as The City Arts Centre, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, The Project Arts Centre and The Royal Hibernian Academy.

Temple Bar is a popular nightlife location and attracts many people from Great Britain and beyond for weekend visits.

The city is one of the most youthful in the world - an estimated 50 of inhabitants are younger than 25. In 2007, Dublin was voted the friendliest city in Europe.

Multicultural Dublin

Despite having a long tradition of emigration that continued up until the early 1990s, Dublin now has a sizeable number of immigrants, especially from Poland, China, the Philippines, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Lithuania, and Romania. There are also considerable numbers from other fellow EU member states, Australia, New Zealand, and Russia, while over the last decade a large number of Irish who had emigrated have returned to settle.