Planning your next trip to Dublin? Here are some fun facts and trivia stories about the Irish capital city.
Dublin has been the largest settlement on the island since the Middle Ages. There are over 1.5 million residents and the pubs and restaurants are good. This is all true, but these are hardly the facts to blow your socks off!
Perhaps you are heading to discover the craic of Dublin on your next weekend activity break or maybe you would just like to get your facts straight. Let us introduce you to some lesser known facts about Dublin.
Here are a few trivia facts about the Irisih capital:
What “Dublin” means in Irish
The name for Dublin in the Irish language is both Dubh Linn and Baile Átha Cliath. While walking around Dublin you’re more likely to see the latter on road signs. The literal meaning of Átha Cliath is “Ford of the Reed Hurdles.”
Dublin or Dubh Linn is derived from the Old Irish Gaelic, which has its literal meaning “Black Pool”. The Dubh Linn was a lake used by the Vikings to moor their trade ships and was connected to the Liffey by the River Poddle.
Dublin’s size, weather, and youthful population
The city of Dublin covers a land area of 44.5 square miles. The average temperature in January is 41°F (5 °C) and the July average is 63°F (17°C). It is estimated that 50 per cent of the city’s residents are under 25 years of age. My advice: dress warmly and party hard.
The only bridge in Europe to have the same width and length
Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge that covers the famed River Liffey is the only traffic bridge in Europe, which has the same width as its length.
It was originally made of rope and could only carry one man and a donkey at a time. It was replaced with a wooden structure in 1801. The current concrete bridge was built in 1863 and was first called “Carlisle Bridge”.
The Oldest Pub in Ireland
You can have a pint in a pub opened since 1198 AD, it is called the Brazen Head and is reputed to be the “Oldest Pub in Ireland”, located in Dublin.
Dublin is a UNESCO City of Literature
Dublin is the home to many acclaimed literary pioneers. The list is long and includes Oscar Wilde, an Irish poet, playwright, essayist, and novelist, Bram Stoker, and James Joyce. Nobel Laureates W.B Yeats, Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw and Seamus Heaney also lived in Dublin. There’s no doubt that Dublin city has contributed a great deal of historic literature and as such, there are many libraries, publishing institutions, and literary institutions.
The city’s literary prowess has even been recognized by UNESCO and has been listed as a City of Literature. There are only five other Cities of Literature in the world; Norwich in England, Iowa City in the USA, Edinburgh in Scotland, Melbourne in Australia and Reykjavik in Iceland.
It is the home of the largest park in Europe
Dublin isn’t just home to bookstores, cemeteries, and pubs; it also has the largest city park in all of Europe. Phoenix Park sits on 707 hectares of land, which makes it the largest city park in the world after Central Park in New York. The park is home to Dublin Zoo which is the park’s most popular attractions. Dublin also has over 2,000 hectares of amazing greenery with miles of hiking trails and walking paths.
Dublin Mountains are actually hills?
None of the so-called Dublin Mountains is high enough to meet the criteria required to claim mountain status. The Sugarloaf is the tallest ‘Dublin Mountain’ yet measures a mere 423.3 meters (or 1388.7 feet) above sea level.
Famous Dubliners – from classic authors to beloved actors
Dublin has a renowned history in the literary and movie world with celebrated native names such George Bernard Shaw (dramatist, critic and Nobel Prize winner), James Joyce (writer and poet), Oscar Wilde (playwright, poet, essayist and novelist) and Dracula creator Bram Stoker to name but a few. Prominent Hollywood actors hailing from the city include Maureen O’Hara, Brendan Gleeson, Gabriel Byrne and Colin Farrell.
Home of Ireland’s popular musicians and movie stars
Dublin is home to many of Ireland’s most famous musicians prominent Hollywood actors, from the Dubliners and Thin Lizzy, Sinead O’Connor and U2 to Maureen O’Hara, Brendan Gleeson, Gabriel Byrne and Colin Farrell.
Many of U2’s back catalog of albums were recorded in their home city. Windmill Lane Studios was the place where U2 recorded their early work and first three albums. The site at Windmill Lane Studios is covered in graffiti from fans that have paid pilgrimage from all over the world and is known as the “U2 Wall.”