21 Amazing Facts About Dublin, Ireland That You Didn't Know

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Jan 10, 2023 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Dec 01, 2021
Edited by Rhea Nischal
Discover fascinating facts about Dublin, Ireland that you won't believe!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.9 Min

The capital of Ireland, Dublin, is famous throughout the world for not just its beauty, but also its rich culture and history.

The name of this city translates to 'Dubh Linn' in Old Irish Gaelic, which means 'Black Pool'. The city of Dublin is located on the southeast coast of Ireland, with the River Liffey dividing it into North and South.

Dublin was designated as the capital of Ireland. From the time of earliest settlements in Ireland, Dublin was the seat of power and the main city where most of the major historical events took place.

The entire city of Dublin covers an area of 356 sq mi (922 sq km) and has over 1.3 million people residing in it. One of the most beautiful aspects of Dublin is its close association with the world of literature.

Famous literary figures like George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, and James Joyce all hailed from Dublin. The number of pubs in Dublin is also mind-blowing, with its oldest pub, the 'Brazen Head' being quite popular among locals and tourists.

Another feature that makes Dublin famous is that it has the only bridge (the O'Connell Bridge) in Europe with a greater width than length. Even to this day, Dublin is well-known for a number of reasons, including the famous Guinness Brewery and Phoenix Park.

Famous artists like Colin Farrell and Maurene O'Hara were born in Dublin. To learn more facts about Dublin, keep reading!

You can also check out facts about Belarus and facts about Botswana here at Kidadl.  

What is Dublin famous for?

Dublin, the capital city of Ireland, is certainly famous for a number of reasons. Apart from its impeccable beauty, Dublin has a lot of other aspects that attract thousands of tourists every year.

When talking about Ireland, and especially Dublin City, one has to mention pubs. Needless to say, pubs have become synonymous with Dublin. Did you know that just in Dublin itself, there are more than 1000 pubs? Population estimates suggest that half of the people in Dublin are younger than 25.

So, the city definitely offers exquisite nightlife for the youth. The Temple Bar in Dublin south is one such hotspot for booming nightlife. The oldest pub in Dublin is called the Brazen Head, which was built around 1198.

Dublin is nominated as a UNESCO city of literature.

This is underlined by the fact that four literature Nobel laureates, namely George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett, and Seamus Heaney, belonged to this city. Other literary figures like Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, and James Joyce are also among the famous literary figures who hail from this great city.

The presence of Trinity College in Dublin City, which was founded by Queen Elizabeth I, is also a testament to the special connection between Dublin and literature, as Trinity College is particularly known for its courses on literature.

The remains of the famous Saint Valentine of Rome are also kept in the Carmelite Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin. The remains consist of a vial of his blood and some bones.

The famous O'Connell Bridge in Dublin city center was thought to be a perfect square. However, as it turns out, the bridge is actually quite asymmetrical and has a greater width than length.

To be exact, the width of the bridge is 164 ft (50 m), while its total length is 147.6 ft (45 m). Hence, the O'Connell Bridge in Dublin is the only traffic bridge in Europe, that has a greater width than length.

Some of the food items that Dublin is famous for are boxty pancakes, Irish stew, colcannon, and coddle. While the names may sound quite weird, these dishes are symbolic of not just the capital city of Dublin, but the entire country.

While boxty pancakes are a type of breakfast pancake made with grated potatoes and milk, Irish stew is a sort of comfort food, including vegetables and mutton. Colcannon is a type of vegetarian dish made using potatoes in addition to kale or cabbage.

However, tons of variations of this dish exist across the city and its restaurants.

Lastly, coddle is a type of dish that is made with leftover meat like sausages and bacon, along with vegetables and potatoes. Coddle is particularly enjoyed on a cold winter evening or night.

Facts About Dublin's Population

The city of Dublin covers a vast population of more than 1.3 million people. Dublin is one of the most densely populated cities in the country, covering a land area of 356 sq mi (922 sq km).

During the latter years of the 20th century, the population of Dublin grew by nearly 1% every year. However, that changed with the beginning of the last quarter of the 20th century. Now, the center of the city has begun to have a declining population, whereas the two parts of Dublin, north and south-west, saw an increase in population.

A lot of immigrants also reside in Dublin. One of the earliest groups to immigrate to Dublin was the Italians.

After the end of World War II, there was an increased influx of Italians in the city, who began to run several restaurants. Over the years, a lot of other groups, including and especially non-Catholic groups, have also chosen Dublin as their home.

The census carried out in 2016 in Dublin revealed that the majority of the population, 86.2% to be precise, was white in Dublin. This was followed by 4.6% of Asians.

Interestingly, more than half of the Asian population in Ireland resides in Dublin. One of the main countries from where immigrants arrive in Dublin seems to be Poland since as of the year 2016, 33,751 people of Polish origin called Dublin their home.

The oldest pub in Dublin was built in the year 1198.

Dublin History Facts

Dublin facts would be incomplete without the mention of the history of the city, which is just as interesting and amusing.

The name 'Dublin' translates into the Irish word 'Dubh Linn'. 'Dubh Linn' has its origins in the Old Irish Gaelic language. This Irish Gaelic word translates to 'Black Pool'. This name could be a reference to the River Liffey.

Another Irish word, 'Baile Átha Cliath' is also a translation for the name Dublin. This word means 'Ford of the Reed Hurdles'. The Irish language, which is primarily spoken in Dublin apart from English, was sourced from Celtic dialects.

Though the precise origin of Dublin is debated, scholars believe that there was a Gaelic settlement in the city during the seventh century. This was followed by the infamous Viking settlement during the ninth century.

During this era, Dublin was known as the Norse Kingdom of Dublin. The extent of the Viking settlement in Dublin can be understood by the fact that, outside of Scandinavia, Dublin has the greatest number of Viking graves. More accurately, 40 Viking graves have been recovered along the River Liffey in Dublin.

Once the largest brewery in the world, the Guinness Brewery was established by Arthur Guinness in the year 1759 in Dublin. Did you know that this brewery was leased for 9,000 years?

It has been estimated that 10 million pints of Guinness are consumed regularly all over the world. This figure increases substantially on Saint Patrick's Day. Saint Patrick was the guiding saint of Ireland.

Saint Anne's Park in Dublin is its second-largest park and is part of an estate that belonged to Guinness family members, specifically the descendants of Arthur Guinness and his wife, Olivia Guinness. The construction of the park started in 1835.

Some amazing historical locations that can be visited in Dublin are the Dublin Castle (built by King John), St. James Gate, Phoenix Park (second largest in the world after Central Park), and Kilmainham Gaol.

Weird Facts About Dublin

Fun facts about Dublin would be incomplete without the mention of some of the weirdest facts about Dublin.

Did you know that the current lion that features in the MGM credits was born in the Dublin Zoo? This lion is called Leo, and he was trained by a man named Ralph Helfner.

Games of Gaelic origins that exist in Dublin are Dublin hurling and Gaelic football. While Gaelic football was first played in 1885, the oldest reference to hurling was found in texts of 1272 B.C.

Despite the name of the Dublin mountains, they cannot officially claim mountain status. This is because, these mountains are quite small in elevation, with the highest peak (named Sugarloaf) only attaining a height of 1389.4 ft (423.5 m). Instead of mountains, these natural structures are termed 'dramatic hills'.

Even though Ireland is marked as a primarily Catholic country, there is no Catholic cathedral in Dublin. St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral Church is the main Catholic church in Ireland, located in Dublin. The word 'Pro' has been added to mark the fact that this is only an 'acting' cathedral church.

During medieval times, glass was quite expensive. Hence, much of Ireland did not have glass windows. However, this was changed with the construction of Dublin Castle, which was the first structure in Ireland to get glass windows!

The watchtowers built around the famous Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin were put in place to deter grave robbers. During the early ages, grave robbing was a common practice for a variety of reasons, one of them being doctors' collecting dead bodies to improve their surgical skills.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for facts about Dublin, Ireland, then why not take a look at facts about Armenia, or facts about Guyana?

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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