Friday, 7 August 2009

Dublin /Dyflin Eire: Place in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Series ****

Dublin (from Dubh Linn meaning "black pool"; pronounced /ˈdʌblɨn/, /ˈdʊblɨn/ or /ˈdʊbəlɪn/), officially known as Baile Átha Cliath or Áth Cliath (Irish pronunciation: [bˠalʲə aːha klʲiəh] or [bˠɫaː cliə(ɸ)]) is both the largest city and capital of Ireland. It is located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin Region. Originally founded as a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and became the island's primary city following the Norman invasion. Today, it is ranked 10th (up from 13th in 2008) in the Global Financial Centres Index, has one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city, and is nominated by the GaWC as a global city, with a ranking of Alpha - which places Dublin amongst the top 25 cities in the world . Dublin is a historical and contemporary cultural centre for the island of Ireland as well as a modern centre of education, the arts, administrative function, economy and industry.

The name Dublin is derived from the Irish name Dubh Linn (meaning "black pool"). In Irish, Dubh is correctly pronounced as Dhuv or Dhuf. The city's original pronunciation is preserved in Old Norse as Dyflin, Old English as Difelin, and modern Manx as Divlyn. Historically, in the traditional Gaelic script used for the Irish language, bh was written with a dot over the b, rendering 'Duḃ Linn' or 'Duḃlinn'. Those without a knowledge of Irish omitted the dot and spelled the name as Dublin.
The common name for the city in Modern Irish is Baile Átha Cliath (meaning "town of the hurdled ford"). It was first written as such in 1368 in the Annals of Ulster. Áth Cliath is a place-name referring to a fording point of the Liffey in the vicinity of Heuston Station. Baile Átha Cliath was later applied to an early Christian monastery which is believed to have been situated in the area of Aungier Street currently occupied by Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church.

The subsequent Viking settlement was on the River Poddle, a tributary of the Liffey, to the East of Christchurch, in the area known as Wood Quay. The Dubh Linn was a lake used by the Vikings to moor their ships and was connected to the Liffey by the Poddle. The Dubh Linn and Poddle were covered during the early 1700s, and as the city expanded they were largely forgotten about. The Dubh Linn was situated where the Castle Garden is now located, opposite the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle.

The City of Dublin can trace its origin back more than 1,000 years, and for much of this time it has been Ireland's principal city and the cultural, educational and industrial centre of the island.

Founding and early history

The Dublin area circa 800 CE

The earliest reference to Dublin is sometimes said to appear in the writings of Claudius Ptolemaeus (Ptolemy), the Egyptian-Greek astronomer and cartographer, around the year A.D. 140, who refers to a settlement called 'Eblana'. This would seem to give Dublin a just claim to nearly two thousand years of antiquity, as the settlement must have existed a considerable time before Ptolemy became aware of it. Recently, however, doubt has been cast on the identification of Eblana with Dublin, and the similarity of the two names is now thought to be coincidental.
It is now thought that the Viking settlement was preceded by a Christian ecclesiastical settlement known as Duiblinn, from which Dyflin took its name. Beginning in the 9th and 10th century, there were two settlements where the modern city stands.

River Poodle

The Viking settlement of about 841 was known as Dyflin, from the Irish Duiblinn (or "Black Pool", referring to a dark tidal pool where the River Poddle entered the Liffey on the site of the Castle Gardens at the rear of Dublin Castle), and a Gaelic settlement, Áth Cliath ("ford of hurdles") was further up river. The Celtic settlement's name is still used as the Irish name of the modern city, though the first written evidence of it is found in the Annals of Ulster of 1368. The modern English name came from the Viking settlement of Dyflin, which derived its name from the Irish Duiblinn. The Vikings, or Ostmen as they called themselves, ruled Dublin for almost three centuries, though they were expelled in 902 only to return in 917 and notwithstanding their defeat by the Irish High King Brian Boru at the battle of Clontarf in 1014. From that date, the Danes were a minor political force in Ireland, firmly opting for a commercial life. Viking rule of Dublin would end completely in 1171 when the city was captured by King Dermot MacMurrough of Leinster, with the aid of Anglo-Norman mercenaries. An attempt was made by the last Norse King of Dublin, Hasculf Thorgillsson, to recapture the city with an army he raised among his relations in the Scottish Highlands, where he was forced to flee after the city was taken, but the attempted reconquest failed and Thorgillsson was killed.
The Thingmote was a raised mound, 40-foot (12 m) high and 240-foot (73 m) in circumference, where the Norsemen assembled and made their laws. It stood on the south of the river, adjacent to Dublin Castle, until 1685. Viking Dublin had a large slave market. Thralls were captured and sold, not only by the Norse but also by warring Irish chiefs.
Dublin celebrated its millennium in 1988 with the slogan ‘'Dublin's great in '88’. The city is far older than that, but in that year, the Norse King Glun Iarainn recognised Máel Sechnaill II (Máel Sechnaill Mór), High King of Ireland, and agreed to pay taxes and accept Brehon Law. That date was celebrated, but might not be accurate: in 989 (not 988), Mael Seachlainn laid siege to the city for 20 days and captured it. This was not his first attack on the city.
Dublin became the centre of English power in Ireland after the Norman conquest of the southern half of Ireland (Munster and Leinster) in 1169-71, replacing Tara in Meath — seat of the Gaelic High Kings of Ireland — as the focal point of Ireland's polity. On 15 May 1192 Dublin's first written Charter of Liberties was granted by John, Lord of Ireland, and was addressed to all his "French, English, Irish and Welsh subjects and friends". On 15 June 1229 his son Henry granted the citizens the right to elect a Mayor who was to be assisted by two provosts. By 1400, however, many of the Anglo-Norman conquerors were absorbed into the Irish culture, adopting the Irish language and customs, leaving only a small area of Leinster around Dublin, known as the Pale, under direct English control.

Late Medieval Dublin

Christ Church Cathedral (exterior)

After the Hiberno-Norman taking of Dublin in 1171, many of the city’s Norse inhabitants left the old city, which was on the south side of the river Liffey and built their own settlement on the north side, known as Ostmantown or "Oxmantown". Dublin became the capital of the English Lordship of Ireland from 1171 onwards and was peopled extensively with settlers from England and Wales. The rural area around the city, as far north as Drogheda, also saw extensive English settlement. In the 14th century, this area was fortified against the increasingly assertive Native Irish – becoming known as the Pale. In Dublin itself, English rule was centred on Dublin Castle. The city was also the main seat of the Parliament of Ireland from 1297, which was composed of landowners and merchants. Important buildings that date from this time include St Patrick's Cathedral, Christchurch Cathedral and St. Audoen's Church, all of which are within a kilometre of each other.
One of the surviving mediæval towers at Dublin Castle. To its left is the Chapel Royal.

The inhabitants of the Pale developed an identity familiar from other settler-colonists of a beleaguered enclave of civilisation surrounded by barbarous natives. The siege mentality of medieval Dubliners is best illustrated by their annual pilgrimage to the area called Fiodh Chuilinn, or Holly Wood (rendered in English as Cullenswood) in Ranelagh, where in 1209, 500 recent settlers from Bristol had been massacred by the O’Toole clan during a fair. Every year on "Black Monday", the Dublin citizens would march out of the city to the spot where the atrocity had happened and raise a black banner in the direction of the mountains to challenge the Irish to battle in a gesture of symbolic defiance. This was still so dangerous until the 17th century that the participants had to be guarded by the city militia and a stockade against, "the mountain enemy".
Medieval Dublin was a tightly knit place of around 5,000 to 10,000 people, intimate enough for every newly married citizen to be escorted by the mayor to the city bullring to kiss the enclosure for good luck. It was also very small in area, an enclave hugging the south side of the Liffey of no more than three square kilometres. Outside the city walls were suburbs such as the Liberties, on the lands of the Archbishop of Dublin, and Irishtown, where Gaelic Irish were supposed to live, having been expelled from the city proper by a 15th century law. Although the native Irish were not supposed to live in the city and its environs, many did so and by the 16th century, English accounts complain that Irish Gaelic was starting to rival English as the everyday language of the Pale.
Life in Medieval Dublin was very precarious. In 1348, the city was hit by the Black Death – a lethal bubonic plague that ravaged Europe in the mid-14th century. In Dublin, victims of the disease were buried in mass graves in an area still known as "Blackpitts". The plague recurred regularly in city until its last major outbreak in 1649. The city was also the scene of constant warfare, both endemic low level violence and as a battleground in major wars. Throughout the Middle Ages, it paid protection money or "black rent" to the neighbouring Irish clans to avoid their predatory raids. In 1314, an invading Scottish army burned the city’s suburbs. As English interest in maintaining their Irish colony waned, the defence of Dublin from the surrounding Irish was left to the Fitzgerald Earls of Kildare, who dominated Irish politics until the 16th century. However, this dynasty often pursued their own agenda. In 1487, during the English Wars of the Roses, the Fitzgeralds occupied the city with the aid of troops from Burgundy and proclaimed the Yorkist Lambert Simnel to be King of England. In 1536, the same dynasty, led by Silken Thomas, who was angry at the imprisonment of Garret Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, besieged Dublin Castle. Henry VIII sent a large army to destroy the Fitzgeralds and replace them with English administrators. This was the beginning of a much closer, though not always happy, relationship between Dublin and the English Crown.

Colonial Dublin

Dublin in 1610 - reprint of 1896

Dublin and its inhabitants were transformed by the upheavals of the 16th and 17th centuries in Ireland. These saw the first thorough English conquest of the whole island under the Tudor dynasty. While the Old English community of Dublin and the Pale were happy with the conquest and disarmament of the native Irish, they were deeply alienated by the Protestant reformation that had taken place in England, being almost all Roman Catholics. In addition, they were angered by being forced to pay for the English garrisons of the country through an extra-parliamentary tax known as "cess". Several Dubliners were executed for taking part in the Second Desmond Rebellion in the 1580s. The Mayoress of Dublin, Margaret Ball died in captivity in Dublin Castle for her Catholic sympathies in 1584 and a Catholic Archbishop, Dermot O'Hurley was hanged outside the city walls in the same year.
In 1592, Elizabeth I opened Trinity College Dublin (located at that time outside the city on its eastern side) as a Protestant University for the Irish gentry. However, the important Dublin families spurned it and sent their sons instead to Catholic Universities on continental Europe.
The Dublin community's discontent was deepened by the events of the Nine Years War of the 1590s, when English soldiers were required by decree to be housed by the townsmen of Dublin and they spread disease and forced up the price of food. The wounded lay in stalls in the streets, in the absence of a proper hospital. To compound disaffection in the city, in 1597, the English Army's gunpowder store in Winetavern Street exploded accidentally, killing nearly 200 Dubliners. It should be noted, however, that the Pale community, however dissatisfied they were with English government, remained hostile to the Gaelic Irish rebels led by Hugh O'Neill.
As a result of these tensions, the English authorities came to see Dubliners as unreliable and encouraged the settlement there of Protestants from England. These "New English" became the basis of the English administration in Ireland until the 19th century.
Protestants became a majority in Dublin in the 1640s, when thousands of them fled there to escape the Irish Rebellion of 1641. When the city was subsequently threatened by Irish Catholic forces, the Catholic Dubliners were expelled from the city by its English garrison. In the 1640s, the city was besieged twice during the Irish Confederate Wars, in 1646 and 1649. However on both occasions the attackers were driven off before a lengthy siege could develop. In 1649, on the second of these occasions, a mixed force of Irish Confederates and English Royalists were routed by Dublin's English Parliamentarian garrison in the battle of Rathmines, fought on the city's southern outskirts.
In the 1650s after the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, Catholics were banned from dwelling within the city limits under the vengeful Cromwellian settlement but this law was not strictly enforced. Ultimately, this religious discrimination led to the Old English community abandoning their English roots and coming to see themselves as part of the native Irish community.
By the end of the seventeenth century, Dublin was the capital of the English run Kingdom of Ireland – ruled by the Protestant New English minority. Dublin (along with parts of Ulster) was the only part of Ireland in 1700 where Protestants were a majority. In the next century it became larger, more peaceful and prosperous than at any time in its previous history.

Dublin Castle

The writings of the Greek astronomer and cartographer Ptolemy provide perhaps the earliest reference to human habitation in the area now known as 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 was established in about 841 by the Norse. The modern city retains the Anglicised Irish name of the former and the original Irish name of the latter.
Dublin was ruled by the Norse for most of the time between 841 and 999, when it was sacked by Brian Boru, the King of Cashel. Although Dublin still had a Norse king after the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, Norse influence waned under a growing Celtic supremacy until the conquest of Ireland which was launched from Britain in 1169-1172. The last high king (Ard Rí) of Ireland was crowned in Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral in 1166.
In Ireland under Anglo-Norman rule, Dublin became the key centre of military and judicial power, with much of the power centering on Dublin Castle until independence. From the 14th to late 16th centuries, English crown control over Ireland was limited to a section of territory, known as the Pale, which included Dublin at its southern end, and Dundalk at its northern extremity. The Parliament was located in Drogheda for several centuries, but was switched permanently to Dublin after Henry VII conquered the County Kildare in 1504. The sacking of Drogheda, and massacre of her citizens, by Oliver Cromwell in 1649, resulted in Dublin becoming the dominant port city in Ireland.
Dublin also had local city administration via its Corporation from the Middle Ages. This represented the city's guild-based oligarchy until it was reformed in the 1840s on increasingly democratic lines.

The Custom House on the north bank of the River Liffey

From the 17th century the city expanded rapidly, helped by the Wide Streets Commission. Georgian Dublin was, for a short time, the second city of the British Empire after London and the fifth largest European city. Much of Dublin's most notable architecture dates from this time and is considered a golden era for the city. In 1759, the founding of the Guinness brewery at St. James's Gate resulted in a considerable economic impact for the city, which is felt to this day. For much of the time since its foundation, the Guinness brewery was the largest employer in the city. In 1742 Handel's "Messiah" was performed for the first time in New Musick Hall in Fishamble Street with 26 boys and five men from the combined choirs of St.Patrick's and Christ Church cathedrals participating.
After 1800, with the seat of government moving to Westminster, Dublin entered a period of decline. Dublin was still the centre of administration and a transport hub for much of Ireland. Dublin played no major role in the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: Ireland had no native source of coal, the fuel of the time, and Dublin was not a centre of ship manufacture, the other main driver of industrial development in Britain and Ireland. Belfast developed much faster than Dublin during this period on a mixture of international trade, factory-based linen cloth production and shipbuilding.
The Easter Rising of 1916 took place in several parts of the city, bringing much physical destruction to the city centre.
The Anglo-Irish War and Irish Civil War contributed even more destruction, leaving some of its finest buildings in ruins. The Irish Free State government rebuilt the city centre and located the Dáil (parliament) in Leinster House.

Carlisle Bridge c. 1840, showing the extent of the Wide Streets Commission interventions, with unified commercial terraces marching from the river towards the GPO.

The formation of the new state resulted in changed fortunes for Dublin. It benefitted more from independence than any Irish city, though it took a long time to become obvious. Through The Emergency (World War II), until the 1960s, Dublin remained a capital out of time: the city centre in particular remained at an architectural standstill, even nicknamed the last 19th Century City of Europe. This made the city ideal for historical film production, with many productions including The Blue Max and My Left Foot capturing the cityscape in this period. This became the foundation of later successes in cinematography and film-making. With increasing prosperity, modern architecture was introduced to the city, though a vigorous campaign started in parallel to restore the Georgian greatness of Dublin's streets, rather than lose the grandeur forever. Since 1997, the landscape of Dublin has changed immensely, with enormous private sector and state development of housing, transport, and business. (See also Development and Preservation in Dublin). 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 Anglo-Norman rule in the 12th century, the city has functioned as the capital of the island of Ireland in the varying geopolitical entities:
the Lordship of Ireland (1171–1541) the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800) the island as part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801–1922) the Irish Republic (1919–1922), From 1922, following the partition of Ireland, it became the capital of the Irish Free State (1922–1949) and now is the capital of the Republic of Ireland. One of the memorials to commemorate that time is the Garden of Remembrance.
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.
A person from either the city or county of Dublin is often referred to as a "Dub".

Literature, theatre and the arts

National Museum of Ireland

The city has a world-famous literary history, having produced many prominent literary figures, including Nobel laureates William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. Other influential writers and playwrights from Dublin include Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker. It is arguably most famous, however, as the location of the greatest works of James Joyce. Dubliners is a collection of short stories by Joyce about incidents and characters typical of residents of the city in the early part of the 20th century. His most celebrated work, Ulysses, is also set in Dublin and full of topical detail. Additional widely celebrated writers from the city include J.M. Synge, Seán O'Casey, Brendan Behan, Maeve Binchy, and Roddy Doyle. Ireland's biggest libraries and literary museums are found in Dublin, including the National Print Museum of Ireland and National Library of Ireland.

Dublin Street Art
There are several theatres within the city centre, and various world famous actors have emerged from the Dublin theatrical scene, including Noel Purcell, Brendan Gleeson, Stephen Rea, Colin Farrell, Colm Meaney and Gabriel Byrne. The best known theatres include the Gaiety, the Abbey, the Olympia and the Gate. The Gaiety specialises in musical and operatic productions, and is popular for opening its doors after the evening theatre production to host a variety of live music, dancing, and films. The Abbey was founded in 1904 by a group that included Yeats with the aim of promoting indigenous literary talent. It went on to provide a breakthrough for some of the city's most famous writers, such as Synge, Yeats himself and George Bernard Shaw. The Gate was founded in 1928 to promote European and American Avante Guarde works. The largest theatre is the Mahony Hall in The Helix at Dublin City University in Glasnevin.
Dublin is also the focal point for much of Irish Art and the Irish artistic scene. The Book of Kells, a world-famous manuscript produced by Celtic Monks in A.D. 800 and an example of Insular art, is on display in Trinity College. The Chester Beatty Library houses the famous collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and decorative arts assembled by American mining millionaire (and honorary Irish citizen) Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968). The collections date from 2700 B.C. onwards and are drawn from Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Work by local artists is often put on public display around St. Stephen's Green, the main public park in the city centre. In addition large art galleries are found across the city, including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery, the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, The City Arts Centre, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, The Project Arts Centre and The Royal Hibernian Academy.
Three branches of the National Museum of Ireland are located in Dublin: Archaeology in Kildare Street, Decorative Arts and History in Collins Barracks and Natural History in Merrion Street.

Nightlife and entertainment

Temple Bar, the city's centre for nightlife and entertainment.

There is a vibrant nightlife in Dublin and it is reputedly one of the most youthful cities in Europe - with estimates of 50% of inhabitants being younger than 25. Furthermore in 2007, and again in 2009, Dublin was voted the friendliest city in Europe. Like the rest of Ireland, there are pubs right across the city centre. The area around St. Stephen's Green - especially Harcourt Street, Camden Street, Wexford Street and Leeson Street - is a centre for some of the most popular nightclubs and pubs in Dublin.
The internationally best-known area for nightlife is the Temple Bar area just south of the River Liffey. To some extent, the area has become a hot spot for tourists, including stag and hen parties from Britain. It was developed as Dublin's cultural quarter (an idea proposed by local politician Charlie Haughey), and does retain this spirit as a centre for small arts productions, photographic and artists' studios, and in the form of street performers and intimate small music venues.
Live music is popularly played on streets and at venues throughout Dublin in general and the city has produced several musicians and groups of international success, including U2, The Dubliners, Horslips, The Boomtown Rats, Thin Lizzy, Sinéad O'Connor and My Bloody Valentine. The two best known cinemas in the city centre are the Savoy Cinema and the Cineworld Cinema, both north of the Liffey. Alternative and special-interest cinema can be found in the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar, in the Screen Cinema on d'Olier Street and in the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield. Across suburban Dublin are located large modern multiscreen cinemas. Situated on the Liffey at the Eastlink tollbridge, The O2, Dublin (originally called, and still often known as, the Point Theatre) has housed world renowned performers in all fields of music.

Northside and Southside

The River Liffey divides the city into Northside and Southside.

A north-south division has traditionally existed in Dublin for some time, with the dividing line being the River Liffey. The Northside is traditionally seen by some as working-class (with the exception of a few suburbs) while the Southside is seen as middle and upper middle class (again, with the exception of a few suburbs). One theory explaining this is that since much trade came in by ship on the river Liffey and docked on the North bank, this resulted in dockers and associated labourers making their homes on the Northside while the wealthier merchants and other professionals tended to make their offices and homes on the Southside.
A noted theory on the division dates back some centuries, certainly to the point when the Earl of Kildare built his residence on the then less-regarded Southside. When asked why he was building on the Southside, he replied "Where I go, fashion follows me", and he was promptly followed by most other Irish peers.
Dublin postal districts have odd numbers for districts on the Northside - for example, Phibsboro is in Dublin 7 - and even numbers for the Southside - for example, Sandymount and Ringsend both have postal code D4 (Dublin 4). An exception to the rule is Dublin 8, which straddles the river.

Trinity College Front Facing, Seamus Heaney studied here

The University of Dublin is the oldest university in Ireland dating from the 16th century. Its sole constituent college, Trinity College, was established by Royal Charter in 1592 under Elizabeth I and was closed to Roman Catholics until Catholic Emancipation; the Catholic hierarchy then banned Roman Catholics from attending it until 1970. It is situated in the city centre, on College Green, and has 15,000 students.
The National University of Ireland (NUI) has its seat in Dublin, which is also the location of the associated constituent university of University College Dublin (UCD), the largest university in Ireland with over 22,000 students.
Dublin City University (DCU) is the most recent university and specialises in business, engineering, and science courses, particularly with relevance to industry. It has around 10,000 students.


The Grand Canal

The City of Dublin is the area administered by Dublin City Council, but the term normally refers to the contiguous urban area which includes the adjacent local authority areas of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin. Together the four areas form the traditional County Dublin. This area is sometimes known as 'Urban Dublin' or the 'Dublin Metropolitan Area'.
The population of the administrative area controlled by the City Council was 505,739 at the census of 2006. At the same census, the County Dublin population was 1,186,159, and that of the Greater Dublin Area 1,661,185. The city's population is expanding rapidly, and it is estimated by the CSO that it will reach 2.1 million by 2021. Today, approximately 40% of the population of the Republic of Ireland live within a 100 km (62 mi) radius of the city centre

Industry, employment and standard of living
Dublin has been at the centre of Ireland's phenomenal economic growth and subsequent current economic contraction over the last 10–15 years, a period (often of double-digit growth) referred to as the Celtic Tiger years. Living standards in the city have risen dramatically, although the cost of living has also soared In 2008, Dublin was listed as the fifth-richest city in the world. According to one source, Dublin is now the world's 16th most expensive city (8th most expensive city in Europe, excluding Russian cities). It was also listed as the third most expensive city in the world in which to live. However, it has the second highest wages for a city in the world, ahead of both New York City and London, though behind Zürich.
Panoramic View from the Guinness Wharehouses

Historically, brewing has probably been the industry most often associated with the city: Guinness has been brewed at the St. James's Gate Brewery since 1759. Since the advent of the Celtic Tiger years, however, a large number of global pharmaceutical, information and communications technology companies have located in Dublin and the Greater Dublin Area. For example, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, PayPal, Yahoo! and Pfizer (among others) now have European headquarters and/or operational bases in the city and its suburbs. Intel and Hewlett-Packard have large manufacturing plants in Leixlip, County Kildare, 15 km (9 mi) to the west.

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