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Evidence from recent excavations of this area suggests South central Dublin was first inhabited in the Viking-period during the 10th century in the quarter now known as Temple Bar. The strategic importance of this town is reflected in the discovery of the remains of Isode's Tower on the 13th century Anglo-Norman city wall near the west end of Temple Bar. South central Dublin has historically been the more afluent area of the city centre, a fact reflected in the number of buildings of historic and architectural significance. Many of these have been latterly adapted for cultural use while others, such as Leinster House and Government Buildings, house important governmental functions. This area also contains Trinity College, an enclave of learning and architectural variety founded in 1592 and still evolving architecturally today.

Much of the area would be considered prosperous but it also contains pockets of the city that have experienced hard times. In the late 1980s the bohemian yet scruffy Temple Bar area was rescued from a potential future as a bus yard by the establishment of Temple Bar Properties, a specially constituted governmental development company that was entrusted with the integrated social, economic and spatial renewal of the area. The subsequent development of this cultural quarter was to provide a valuable template for holistic regeneration of city areas throughout Dublin, nationally and even internationally. Today the southern centre of the city is its social heart where bars and restaurants teem with Dubliners. It is also culturally and commercially important, as many of the current architectural developments reflect.

Posted by Reflecting City Team on Thursday, February 21, 2008
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