Dublin is the largest city and capital of Ireland.
It hosts a population of 1.4 million people (2016) in it’s metropolitan area. The city centre is rather small, but due to height restrictions, the city sprawl has been compared to that of LA. This is mainly due to the traditional preference for living in houses rather than apartments. The greater Dublin area hosts 1.9 million people, so a third of the Irish population (only surpassing 5 million in 2021) could be considered Dubliners.
The culture of Dublin is quite distinct from the rest of Ireland, even its other, albeit much smaller, cities. This is mainly due to its history of being foreign-ruled.
Even though there was an Irish settlement near a ford (think of a cross between a bridge and stepping stones) on the River Liffey bridge stretching back to 100 BC, the first real urbanisation of the area began when Vikings from Norway set up what was to become a permanent settlement in 841 AD. They settled in an area near what was called the ‘Black Pool’, which in Irish is ‘Dubh Linn’, and thence the name ‘Dublin’.
On hostile soil, the Vikings built fortifications to encompass the small settlement. The Irish weren’t too fussed about urban centres, so they only took the city in 988 AD – this has been as the first time the city became Irish and, such a trivial date was used in the depressing Ireland of the 1980s as an excuse to celebrate Dublin’s Millennium (we needed a party to lift spirits). By 1000 AD, you could say that Dublin was Hiberno-Norse (a mix of Irish and Viking cultures).
In 1170, the Normans (originally Vikings who settled in Normandy in France, later conquering England after 1066) attacked and conquered Dublin.
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