Dublin has two completely different names in the Irish Language! Dubh Linn and Baile Átha Cliath. The literal meaning of Átha Cliath is “Ford of the Reed Hurdles,” and the name Dublin is derived from the Old Irish Gaelic Dubh Linn, which translates as ”Black Pool”. Historically, the native Irish favoured Áth Cliath, whereas the settled Vikings and Anglo-Normans preferred Dubh Linn. Dubh Linn was a lake used by the Vikings to moor their tradeships and was connected to the Liffey by the River Poddle. The Norse settlements in Dublin were around the Christchurch and Wood Quay Areas of Dublin.
Dublin is twinned with Beijing in the People’s Republic of China, Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain, Liverpool in the United Kingdom, and San Jose in California, USA.
The Brazen Head, reputedly the oldest pub in Ireland, is located in Dublin. A pub has operated from this site since 1198.
Handel’s classic “Messiah” premiered in 1742 at the New Music Hall in Fishamble Street, Dublin. The production was sung by 26 boys and 5 men from the St Patrick’s and Christchurch cathedral choirs. An annual celebration to mark the premiere of this musical tour de force takes place annually in Temple Bar on the site of its original performance 270 years ago.
Dublin is home to many of Ireland’s most famous musicians, from the Dubliners and Thin Lizzy to Sinead O’Connor and U2. Windmill Lane Studios was the place where U2 recorded their early work and first three albums. Later work was created and recorded at Hanover Quay Studios, also in the city. The so-called U2 Wall at Windmill Lane Studios is covered in graffiti from fans who have made the pilgrimage from all over the world.
Dublin has a rich literary and film tradition, with celebrated native names such as George Bernard Shaw (dramatist, critic & Nobel Prize winner), James Joyce (writer and poet and writer of Ulysses), Oscar Wilde (playwright, poet, essayist & novelist) and Dracula creator Bram Stoker among the city’s famous writers. Prominent Hollywood actors from Dublin include Maureen O’Hara, Brendan Gleeson, Gabriel Byrne, and Colin Farrell.