Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is located in the province of Leinster on Ireland’s east coast and it sits at mouth of the River Liffey. The city’s name is derived from the Old Irish Gaelic “Dubh Lind,” which means “Black Pool” and refers to a dark lake that had been formed by the junction of the River Liffey and the River Poddle.

We’ll be staying in Dublin on our Hurley World Travel October 2019 Escorted Ireland Tour, October 4-11, 2019.  Learn more about this tour.

Here are 10 more facts you don’t know about Dublin.

1. Dublin is home to over 1,000 pubs.
Those pubs include The Brazen Head, which is near the Guinness Brewery. It was established in 1168, which makes it not just the oldest pub in Dublin, but also one of the oldest in the entire world. Sean’s Pub in Westmeath was established in 900 and is thus the oldest pub in the world.

Guiness Dublin – Photo Cred: Joe Hurley
Temple Bar, Dublin – Photo Cred: Adobe Stock

2. The original O’Connell Bridge was a rope bridge that could only carry one man and a donkey at a time.
The rope bridge was replaced by a wooden structure at the turn of the 19th century. In 1863, the current concrete bridge was built. It was originally called “Carlisle Bridge” after the Earl of Carlisle. In 1882, it was renamed “O’Connell Bridge” after Daniel O’Connell, a political leader.

3. Dublin was once a Viking kingdom.
The Vikings invaded the area in the 9th century and established the Kingdom of Dublin. The High King of Ireland, Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill (949 – 1022), defeated the Vikings in 988. The founding of Dublin is often dated from that time. People celebrated Dublin’s millennium of existence as a free city in 1988.

4. Dublin became a UNESCO City of Literature in 2010.
Dublin received that honor for its contributions to world literature that include a multitude of libraries and publishing companies. Dublin has also produced Nobel Laureates George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, W. B. Yeats, and Seamus Heaney. James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and Bram Stoker also called Dublin their home.

5. The Dublin Mountains aren’t really mountains.
In both the Republic of Ireland and the UK, a mountain is defined as a summit that is at least 2,000 feet or 610 meters tall. The Sugar Loaf, which is the tallest, stands only 1,644 feet tall.

Dublin by the Liffey River – Photo Cred: Adobe Stock

6. Trinity College is the only college in the University of Dublin.
Trinity College was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. Famous alumnae include Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, and the physicist Ernest Walton. The last was the first person to ever split the atom and received a Nobel Prize for his work.

7. Dublin’s population is the youngest in Europe.
Roughly half of the people in Dublin are under 25 years old.

Long Room, Trinity College, Dublin – Photo Cred: Joe Hurley

8. Dublin is home to “The Book of Kells.”
“The Book of Kells,” which is now housed in the Trinity College Library, is an illuminated manuscript of the Four Gospels written by monks around 800 A.D. It got its name from the Abbey of Kells, its original home.

9. The Dublin Mountains Way is one of the world’s most scenic walks.
The book “1001 Walks You Must Experience before You Die” proclaimed it as such in 2015. The 25-mile long trail was established in 2009.

10. Dublin has the largest park in Europe.
Celebrating 350 years, Phoenix Park is the largest enclosed public park in any city in Europe.  Covering 1,750 acres, Phoenix Park is the world’s biggest urban park after New York’s Central Park. The park is also home to the Dublin Zoo.

The Book of Kells – Photo Cred: Adobe Stock