The Clarence Hotel in Temple Bar

Temple Bar: A Brief History

Temple Bar is Dublins old city and one of the most vibrant areas in the city centre. It is situated in the very heart of Dublin city surrounded by the south quays of the River Liffey, Dame Street, Fishamble Street and Westmoreland Street. Temple Bar is well known for its bohemian atmosphere and cobbled streets. It has a charm and uniqueness no longer found in many other parts of the city. When in Dublin a trip to Temple Bar & The Clarence Hotel is a must!

The term Temple Bar first appeared in 1673, and refers to the site where the Anglo-Irish aristocrat Sir William Temple had his residence and gardens. Various settlements in the area go back thousands of years, as far as the Bronze Age, around 1,000 BC. However it wasnt until the Vikings landed in the year 795 that Temple Bar became the heart of Dublin.
Soon Temple Bar became Dublins centre of economic and cultural activity. In 1707 the Customs House was built on Wellington Quay (a site now occupied by the Clarence Hotel). All goods shipped into Ireland went through the Customs House. As a result warehouses sprung up throughout the area alongside various forms of entertainment ranging from theatres to saloons and brothels.

In 1791, the Customs House moved downstream to the north quays.  Temple Bar was no longer the hub of Irish commerce.  Gradually the whole area began to decline as businesses and shoppers moved elsewhere.  Temple Bar became a no-go area in the city and few people wanted to go there.

In the 1980s C.I.E (the state transport company) started to buy up property with the intention of building a bus depot in Temple Bar.  While waiting for construction to begin CIE started renting out run-down sites cheaply.  This attracted painters, sculptors, actors and musicians into the area.  A new version of Temple Bar began to grow breathing new life into the area.  Soon Temple Bar became known as the citys alternative strip, with boutiques, record shops, cafes, bars, artists and musicians moving into the area and as they say the rest is history!

Temple Bar: Today

Temple Bar, Dublins Cultural Quarter, is a maze of cobbled streets nestled in the heart of the city on the south bank of the River Liffey a must see for everyone. Looking for something different? Why not browse Temple Bars myriad of small quirky shops? Selling everything from original jewellery to second hand records, books, eco-gifts and so much more!

Some of Dublins best restaurants (including The Tea Room) can be found in Temple Bar serving a wide selection of traditional and ethnic dishes from traditional Irish, Italian, Spanish, Indian, Indonesian, Nepalese, Chinese to Mongolian - whatever your taste youll find it in Temple Bar!

Take a stroll through Meeting House Square and enjoy the taste and aromas from the food stalls at the Temple Bar Food Market, browse the books at the Temple Bar Book Market or discover some of Irelands up and coming fashion designers at the Designer Mart on Cows Lane.

And lets not forget that Temple Bar is a hub of cultural activity. Make sure to take in some culture while youre here, visit a gallery, see a play, catch a movie all within a stones throw of each other. Of course, no visit to Temple Bar would be complete without a visit to some of our local pubs. Listen to some live traditional music or maybe you are in the mood for cocktails (at The Octagon Bar of course!) and dancing the night away? Either way, youll find what youre looking for in Temple Bar