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Dublin Information

Dublin has been peopled since prehistoric times, and the Egyptian astronomer, Ptolemy, referred to it in 140 AD in his writings. About 800 AD, the Vikings appeared and decided to establish a settlement on the Liffey River.

Dublin, meaning "black pool," was a natural mooring spot since the River Liffey fed into the Irish Sea. The Normans invaded in 1169 at the request of the Leinster king to help get his kingdom back. This attracted the attention of King Henry II in 1171 who took over the Lordship of Ireland and made it part of his Angevin Empire.

Most of the Irish kings accepted Henry II because they wanted to decrease the influence of Leinster and the Normans. Henry's youngest son John became king in 1199 after succeeding his brother Richard and Ireland became an English possession. King John built Dublin Castle in 1204, which still stands and has function even now, 800 years later.

The plague, or "Black Death," ravaged Dublin from 1348 until it died out and life went on. Queen Elizabeth I was determined, unsuccessfully, to make Dublin become Protestant and established Trinity College in 1592. She ruled that St. Patrick's Cathedral become Protestant as well, which was quite a shock to the Irish.

The plague hit a second time in 1649, wiping out half of the city's population. Later, Georgian Dublin became the second largest city in the British Empire for a brief time, inspiring much rebuilding in the city.

The Temple Bar area and Grafton Street managed to stave off the Georgian architectural onslaught and keep their more medieval atmosphere. They are two of the most popular tourist areas today.

The Guinness Brewery made its debut in 1759 and continues to produce some of Ireland's finest ale. It is still the largest brewer in the world for stout. Arthur Guinness leased the property in Dublin for 45 pounds a year for 9,000 years, which has worked out well for them.

The Irish began to feel constricted under English rule and the famous Easter Rising of 1916 took place in the central post office in Dublin. Ireland did not gain independence from England until 1921. The "Troubles" in Northern Ireland in the 1970s revived memories of that time with deadly Catholic-Protestant clashes.

Tourism is a huge source of income for Dublin today. Traditional Irish music is a big draw in the pubs. Try the pastries.

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