The Heart of Dublin (Peter Pearson)

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From the author of Between the Mountains and the Sea comes a book charting the history of the centre of the city of Dublin. It traces the history of the ancient heart of Dublin, street by street, area by area -- its Viking origins, its growth as a medieval walled city, its metamorphosis in the eighteenth century into an elegant Georgian capital. It charts the gradual creeping dereliction during the twentieth century and its resurgence during the past twenty years as a new-found prosperity and pride has led to new developments and a restoration of much of the city's architectural heritage.

Ireland's capital city has many different faces -- the city's outdoor markets, Moore Street to Temple Bar to Thomas Street; the Custom House Docks development of shiny, glazed office blocks; Smithfield with its chimney converted to a viewing tower and its striking row of giant steel masts; Temple Bar, now a cultural and artistic centre crammed with restaurants and pubs, galleries and street markets; Grafton Street, Dublin's fashionable shopping street for the last two hundred years; Dublin's many excellent museums and theatres; great architecture creating a bridge from the Dublin of today with the living history of the past.

The last twenty years have seen a mood of change, and a new pride in Dublin, emerge. The opening up of new pedestrian routes to districts like Temple Bar and Smithfield and the building of a new pedestrian bridge over the Liffey have helped to restore a people-friendly feeling to the city. Dublin has changed within the space of ten or twelve years into a vibrant, active, multicultural city, with many new buildings.