In Dublin's Fair City
Pre-reading: What do you know about Dublin? Have you heard about the Liffey, Molly Malone and Trinity College? If not, here is an opportunity to get to know this fascinating city better.
Dublin has developed from being a rather grey and dull city into being one of the most colourful and vibrant spots in Europe. Wherever you walk, people are friendly and interested, and maybe some of the people you meet on the street could be a very distant relative of yours!
Dublin was namely founded by Vikings.
In 840 AD Norwegian Vikings arrived in the area where Dublin is today, and built a fortress. After a period of Norwegian/Danish rule, the British became more and more dominant in the area, and from 1169 they gained even more influence.
After Ireland was divided in 1921, Dublin became the capital of the Republic of Ireland, and is today a popular tourist destination. Wherever you travel in Ireland you meet two languages, English and Gaelic. Look at the example in the picture, and you get a glimpse into a very old language which is spoken by fewer and fewer people today.
If you have a couple of days in Dublin, here are some of the places worth visiting:
- Kilmainham Gaol, was a prison from 1796 to 1924, and is in many ways the symbol of the Irish fight for freedom from the British. This prison is a major tourist attraction in Dublin today, and has also been used as a location for several film scenes. In the Name of the Father, with Daniel Day Lewis, for example, is maybe the most touching and impressive.
- Molly Malone has been immortalised in the famous song "In Dublin's Fair City, where the girls are so pretty...." Molly Malone is a semi historical/legendary figure, but still a symbol of the hard-working, poor Irish people. You can find her statue in the city centre.
- Ireland has been the home country for some of the most talented writers in the English language. In the Writers Museum in Dublin you can find original manuscripts by Joyce, Yeats and others.
- The Book of Kells from 800AD is a well preserved illuminated manuscript, and is one of the major treasures and prides of Ireland.
Dubliners are also proud of their river Liffey, and as a pedestrian you can cross the Ha'penny Bridge, the oldest pedestrian crossing over the river dating from 1816.
Tasks and Activities
- In the Writers Museum you can learn more about famous Irish writers. Here are the family names of five of them. What are their first names?
- The Molly Malone statue is situated in one of the main shopping streets in Dublin. What is the name of this street?
- Where is the Book of Kells on display?
- In 1759 the most famous brewery in Ireland was founded. What is the name of this brewery?
- A famous writer was Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral from 1713 to 1747. Who was he?
- Trinity College was founded in 1592 by the Queen of England. What was her name?
- In which major tourist attraction can you learn more about the Vikings?
The Gaelic language is no longer spoken by many people. What do you think might be done to preserve this language, and make it more extensively used? Discuss your suggestions with some of the others in your class.
- English subject curriculum