Dublin is the capital and most populous city of Ireland. The English name for the city is derived from the Irish name Dubhlinn, meaning “black pool”. Dublin is situated in the province of Leinster near the midpoint of Ireland’s east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and the centre of the Dublin Region.
Founded as a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and became the island’s principal city following the Norman invasion. The city expanded rapidly from the 17th century; it was briefly the second largest city in the British Empire and the fifth largest in Europe. Dublin entered a period of stagnation following the Act of Union of 1800, but it remained the economic centre for most of the island. Following the partition of Ireland in 1922, the new parliament, the Oireachtas, was located in Leinster House. Dublin became the capital of the Irish Free State and later the Republic of Ireland.
Like the cities of Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford, Dublin is administered separately from its respective County with its own City Council. The city is listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) as a global city, with a ranking of “Alpha-“, placing Dublin among the top 30 cities in the world. It is a historical and contemporary cultural centre for the country, as well as a modern centre of education, the arts, administration, economy, and industry.
Founded in 841, Dublin was originally settled by Vikings amongst a population of Celtic tribes. In the 9th century the Danes captured Dublin and had control until 1171 when they were expelled by King Henry II of England. By the 14th century the king of England controlled Dublin and the nearby area referred to as “the Pale”.
When the English Civil Wars ended in 1649, Oliver Cromwell took over. Dublin experienced huge growth and development in the 17th century because many Protestant refugees from Europe came to Dublin. By the 17th century Dublin was the second greatest city, only behind London, and a period when great Georgian style building were constructed that still stand today. Georgian style architecture was popular from 1720 to 1840 during the times when George I, George II, George III, and George IV of England were ruling.
In 1800, the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland abolished the Irish Parliament. From this point on, the Irish worked to gain their independence from Great Britain, which they finally won in 1922. The Easter rising in 1916 and the War of Independence greatly helped Ireland win their freedom. One event remembered as a key moment in Irish history is the Easter rising in 1916.
A failed attempt to take over the several important buildings, among them the General Post Office on O’Connell Street, led to the arrest of hundreds and execution of 15, now considered martyrs for the cause. Many believe that this event helped gain sympathy for the fight for independence from Britain.
Being subject to the moderating effects of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream, Dublin is known for its mild climate.
Contrary to some popular perception, the city is not especially rainy. Its annual rainfall average is only 732.7mm (28.8 in), lower than London. However, its precipitation is spread out more evenly so that on many days there can be a light shower.
Winters in Dublin are relatively mild when compared with cities in mainland Europe -daytime temperatures generally hover around the 5°C (41°F), but frost is common during the period November through to February when night time temperatures dip below 0°C (32 °F) freezing point.
Snow does occur, but it is not very common, and most of Dublin’s winter precipitation comes in the form of a chilly rain and hail. The lowest recorded temperature in the city is -12°C (10°F). It should also be noted that during the first week of January 2010, the city canals froze over for the first time in years–this was a common enough sight back in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. It could be said that Dublin’s climate is very comparable to that of the northwest United States and southwest Canada, as well as to much of coastal Western Europe.
Summers in Dublin are also mild. The average maximum temperature is 19°C (66°F) in July, far cooler than even most of the coldest American cities. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Dublin is a mere 29°C (87°F), which in many other parts of the world, even at its own latitude, is just a typical summer day. Don’t plan on too many hot summertime activities. Thunderstorms also don’t happen very often in Dublin, on average only four days a year. Overall, the city’s climate is mild but would be considered drier and cooler than western and southern parts of the island of Ireland.