Dublin is rich in the arts, but did you know that it’s also a thriving business center with an advanced knowledge economy? It’s a city where you and your students can explore ancient Viking shipbuilding sites, retrace the steps of James Joyce’s Leopold Bloom or visit the hottest Internet start-ups just minutes away. No matter what you do, you will find William Butler Yeats’s words ring true—there are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t met yet.
History in Dublin
Dublin’s history goes back to the age of Vikings, or another thousand years earlier, depending on which historian you ask. Through the centuries, its citizens have withstood rebellion, civil war, religious strife and oppression. In 1922, Ireland became an independent nation after decades of struggle. But the Northern Ireland conflict, known as The Troubles, continued until 1998. Because this is all quite recent, your students have an excellent opportunity to interact with primary witnesses to many of these events.
Walking through Dublin, you and your students will encounter medieval structures and Georgian buildings amidst the latest real estate developments. Temple Bar is considered to be the cultural heart of the city, with many important institutions headquartered there. The Irish Film Archive and Temple Bar Gallery and Studio contain fascinating displays of media relating to recent history. To see how Dublin melds the ancient and the modern, seek The Friary, an apartment/restaurant complex that incorporates a 13th-century structure of the Augustinian Friary of the Holy Trinity.