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facts in brief

Part of Braun and Hogenberg VI-3 map
Part of Braun and Hogenberg VI-3 map

Facts in brief:

The city of Dublin, the present capital of the Republic of Ireland, has been inhabited since ancient times. It is situated in the eastern part of the country at the head of Dublin Bay on the Irish Sea. Norsemen settled the spot ca 831, and fought off the Irish until 1014. They later reclaimed the town and it survived and prospered as a Norse settlement though eventually the Norse rulers had Irish overlords. Henry II established English influence in 1170, which continued until 1922. Dublin remained a small medieval walled town, ruling only the English enclave along the coast, called the Pale. Dublin became Protestant around the time of the Reformation, and surrendered to Oliver Cromwell's army in 1649. Much damaged, depopulated, and physically crumbling, the town underwent a dramatic reversal of fortune in the 17th and 18th centuries, with the arrival of French Huguenot weavers fleeing persecution, soon followed by Flemish weavers. Dublin's thriving cloth trade lead to economic prosperity and the growth of the city beyond its old walls. Much fine Georgian architecture was built. The English elite thrived while the Roman Catholic majority was largely kept in extreme poverty and suffered persecution under the harsh Penal Laws. Reforms improved the status of Catholics in the 19th century but inequity continued and armed conflict centered on Dublin. The mid- to late 20th century saw quieter times and more development as well as a movement to conserve the older structures of the city. Dublin is known for Norman and Georgian castles and cathedrals situated around the bay and along the Irish Seacoast. There is a wealth of cultural life such as theatre, concerts, and opera. While traditional industries of brewing, distilling, food processing, and textile production have declined somewhat, new activities of engineering, electronics, and chemicals have arisen. The 2003 estimated population was 1,018,500.

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