Following the Restoration (1660) Dublin (founded as a Viking settlement in 988 AD) became the second city, after London, of the British Empire, with major development and expansion in the Georgian period (1714-1830) - providing the institutional buildings and infrastructure, and setting out the city plan substantially as it survives today. Reflecting the political and social ambitions of their patrons, the institutions built are of high architectural quality. Actually, Dublin boasts some of the world's finest Georgian buildings.
Much of the Georgian fabric was the result of an explosion of speculative development by the aristocratic great estates. Externally each house is quite simple; three or four storeys over basement, with three, four or five bay brick fronts, with the doorcase and its fanlight, of varying designs, being the most decorative feature. The surprise is in the interiors which often have stuccowork of particularly high quality, executed by both foreign and Irish craftsmen.
The Wide Streets Commissioners, Europe's first official town planning authority established in 1757, made the necessary urban interventions and improvements that linked the medieval core and the new Georgian developments on the north and south of the River Liffey which bisects the city. The architectural language developed in the Georgian period continued, on a diminished scale, to the early 20th century - from four storeys over basement townhouse to single storey cottage.
Following the Acts of Union in 1800 much of the city was abandoned by its original aristocratic patrons. Although development continued to the 1830s, significant areas, particularly to the north of the Liffey. The contested political atmosphere of the city, from aristocratic capital to the first city of the post-colonial world, was both a direct and indirect influence on a vibrant literary culture, producing works of international significance.
The city has provided both a setting and an inspiration to writers, and has made an extraordinary contribution to world literature. Including Swift, Sheridan, Goldsmith, and Burke in the 18th and early 19th centuries; Wilde, Stoker in the later 19th century; the Irish Literary Revival of the early 20th centuries with Yeats, Gregory and the Abbey Theatre, Synge, O'Casey and Joyce; continuing with Shaw, Beckett and Flann O'Brien to the present.
The Historic City of Dublin was included in 2010 on Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On the blog are presented the following objects:
• Trinity College
• St Stephen's Green
• Ha'penny Bridge
The Historic City of Dublin - UNESCO official website