Nestled on the banks of the river Liffey on the eastern coast, Dublin - Baile Átha Cliath, or “town of the hurdled ford” in Irish Gaelic - is the capital city of the Republic of Ireland and the largest city of Leinster province. Its name comes from the Irish Dubh Linn, meaning “black pool”.
The most popular song associated with the city is of course Molly Malone, which tells the story of a pretty young woman wheeling a barrow of cockles and mussels through the streets of Dublin. Molly, fishmonger by day and prostitute by night, is immortalized by a statue on Grafton Street, commonly referred to as “the Tart with the Cart”.
Ireland’s membership of the European Union in 1973 helped to transform a largely agricultural society into a modern economy and brought prosperity to the country as a whole, and large new developments across the city.
The Celtic Tiger became the fastest growing economy in Europe in the 1990s, making Ireland the second European richest country by 2007; although the recession has hit hard since, Dublin remains an affluent and cosmopolitan city, filled with trendy bars and expensive designer shops as well as a youthful city - about half of its inhabitants are under the age of 25.
Beyond the economic miracle, Dublin’s appeal lies with its rich cultural and literary heritage (the city boasts no fewer than five Nobel Prize winners for Literature), its history, architecture, music and famous pubs. But the real attraction of the city has to be the friendly and easy-going Dubliners themselves - Irish hospitality at its very best. You won’t be disappointed.
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