Temple Bar. Road in Dublin, Ireland

Temple Bar

Road in Dublin, Ireland

Temple Bar Photo © Ville Miettinen

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Temple Bar

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	Temple Bar
Temple Bar. Photo by unknown
Temple Bar is an old tourist hot-spot in Dublin, Ireland. The area is located between the south bank of the River Liffey (Wikipedia
	Article) and Christ Church Cathedral and is being promoted as Dublin’s cultural quarter. It is home to some of the city’s best night spots, unusual shops, and a large number of restaurants.

Temple Bar is home to legendary Irish pubs, such as the Auld Dubliner, Oliver St. John Gogarty, the Temple Bar Pub, and the Palace Bar. It is particularly popular among tourists who go there to stroll through the cobblestone alleyways and browse markets during the day and party in the evening. It is also home to many art organizations, museums, and galleries.


Temple Bar’s original name was St. Andrews Parish and it used to be a suburb of medieval and Anglo-Saxon Dublin. It was located outside of the city walls and, after several attacks by the native Irish, was abandoned sometime in the beginning of the 14th century. It wasn’t until the early 17th century that the area was redeveloped again; this time it was the place where wealthy Englishmen built their houses and large gardens.

The Temple Bar - Temple
The Temple Bar - Temple Bar. Photo by michael_hamburg69
Although it is not completely clear where the name Temple Bar comes from, it is safe to say that it is probably derived from the Temple family. Sir William Temple, who was provost of Trinity College Dublin from 1609 until 1627, had a house and garden in the area in the beginning of the 17th century, the time of redevelopment. It is also interesting to know that there is an old district in London that has the same name, so the name of the new Dublin district may have been copied from that area. Furthermore, London’s Temple Bar is bordered by Essex Street and Fleet Street, the exact same names of the bordering streets in Dublin. Both explanations of the name ‘Temple Bar’ are equally possible.

The two most notable events in the 18th century were the establishment of the republican revolutionary group, ‘The Society of the United Irishmen’, in a pub on Eustace Street, and the first performance of the play, ‘Messiah’, by Handel. Temple Bar somehow also became a place of prostitution and crime towards the end of the century. Especially Fownes Street was infamous for its brothels. Although the area had been home to many skilled artisans and craftsmen before, in the beginning of the 19th century it became less popular, which was a result of the increased crime rate and prostitution. In the early 1900s, Temple Bar was subject to urban decay.

Things began to change for the better in the 1970s when CIE, the national transport company, bought up large pieces of land to build a brand new bus terminal. The buildings, old warehouses, and retail buildings on that land were rented out at low prices until they were demolished. At least that was the plan. Those low prices attracted artists, book shops, record stores, and galleries to Temple Bar and the area lived up once again. Protests by traders and locals caused the bus terminal project to be cancelled. In 1991, the Irish government created a non-profit company, Temple Bar Properties, which was to manage the renovation of the area and make it the new cultural quarter in Dublin.
While Temple Bar may look old nowadays, it is essentially a very young neighborhood in Dublin. The area is filled with cultural institutions and organizations, as well as pubs, nightclubs, fast food restaurants, and bars. It is a major center of nightlife in the city and overconsumption of alcohol remains a problem in the area.

 - Temple
Temple Bar. Photo by unknown

Visiting Temple Bar

The Irish cultural institutions and organizations that are based in Temple Bar are the Irish Photography Center, the Temple Bar Music Center; the Irish Film Institute, the experimental Projects Arts Center; Temple Bar Gallery and Studio, IBAT College Dublin; the Gaiety School of Acting, and the Arthouse Multimedia Center. Other institutions that are headquartered there are the Irish Stock Exchange and the Central Bank of Ireland. The Children’s Cultural Center offers theater classes, workshops, and entertainment to children.

Every Saturday and Sunday, the Temple Bar Book Market takes place at Temple Bar Square. The area’s other square, Meetinghouse Square, has outdoor movie screenings in summer.

In the evening, Temple Bar becomes a center of nightlife, drinking, and debauchery. Most nightclubs and pubs focus on money-spending tourists rather than locals. Therefore, prices are higher in Temple Bar than elsewhere in the city. There are, however, some lively and typically Irish pubs to be found in Temple Bar, the most popular of which are the iconic Temple Bar Pub, Oliver St. John Gogarty, the Porterhouse, the Palace Bar, and the Quays Bar.

Nearby Landmarks

Dublin is filled with historic and iconic landmarks, such as Trinity College Dublin, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin (Wikipedia Article), and the Guinness Brewery, and Jameson Distillery.

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Author: bramreusen. Last updated: Dec 22, 2014

Pictures of Temple Bar

Temple Bar
Temple Bar. Photo by Benedetto Conte


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