Temple Bar

during the afternoon I spent in Dublin, I managed to see quite a bit of the city centre. one of the most colorful draws for tourists is Temple Bar, which runs south of the the River Liffey. it retains a medieval character to it, since the streets are very narrow and many of them cobbled. the area is promoted as a cultural quarter, and is great for music. Handel’s Messiah was performed for the first time in Fishamble Street, and a performance of the same is held annually.

the area declined in popularity during the19th century, which saved it to a great extent from the wrecking balls of developers. its unpopularity lead to further decay in the 20th century, when a proposal emerged to level much of the area to make way for a bus terminus. while the planning proposal moved forward, buildings were let out at low rents, and the area began to fill up again, with musicians and artists and other bohemian-hippie types. protests led to the cancellation of the project and in the early 90s a non-profit organization was set up to further revitalization projects. it’s worked pretty well, though Temple Bar does have a reputation for raucous Stag and Hen Parties (which, allegedly, were banned in 1999). there’s a plethora of pubs, like Gogarty’s (seen in the picture) that host noteworthy traditional music sessions. there’s even the TradFest music & culture festival (taking place the last weekend in January next year, if anyone’s inclined).