Photo: St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the fog

St. Patrick’s Cathedral pierces the fog of the ages. For one thing, Jonathan Swift—author of Gulliver’s Travels—was dean here in the 1700s; his grave sits near the entrance.

Photograph by Liam Blake/Imagefile

In the last 20 years, the Republic of Ireland’s capital city has transformed itself from a quiet, economically depressed, old-fashioned town into a modern, thriving, affluent, and youthful (around 35 percent of the city’s million-plus people are under the age of 25) European city. Ancient pubs, lively nightclubs, hundreds of live music venues, and elegant restaurants share rain-soaked sod with hundreds of years of troubled, painful, and fascinating history carved into stone. The Liffey River divides the city into two distinct areas, both of which have seen an upswing in recent years. But as Joyce, Yeats, Swift, and their modern counterparts have eloquently demonstrated, every corner pub, emerald green, and Georgian square of Ireland’s largest city holds a story waiting to be shared.

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