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The oldest pub in Dublin is the Brazen Head

Irish pubs are a part of Irish culture. But now, Irish pubs can be found everywhere in the world. How could pubs of such a small country find their own well-deserved place among national drinking establishments? In order to not explain “in hand-waving terms” let us refer to examples.

Almost in the very centre of Dublin, not far from the Heuston Railway Station, there is a pub “The Brazen Head”. Official guide-books designate its date of establishment in 1189!

the brazen head

Of course, it's not an original building of the XII century, but at this place there was a tavern with a drinking establishment which exactly was the “ancestor” of this pub. The first owner of the pub is also known. It was Richard Egan and his wife Eleanor, who in title deed specify the name of the pub – “The Brazen Head”.

This strange name of the pub relates to a medieval legend about a brazen head, which could forecast the future. The name was taken right way and that is why it remained on the new building of the pub built in the middle of the XVIII century.

the Brazen Head

From the old tavern they took a still lasting tradition to accommodate visitors for the night. But let us return to the subject of Irish pubs. By the example of the “The Brazen Head” pub, you can feel how carefully the history of the establishment is cherished, how from generation to generation they hand down their ancient traditions.

Especially well, it is felt inside the pub itself. In the pub there are several small halls. Low ceiling, a fireplace, a small bar counter, simple wooden tables – all this creates that household atmosphere which attracts pub goers of not only this pub, but also of most Irish pubs. No small share is had here by Irish national drinks: different beer and whiskey brands. Live Irish music performed every evening adds local flavour tremendously.

the Brazen head

It is no wonder that in last century, when there weren’t so many tourists in Dublin; this pub was a usual and custom for a certain quantity of Irishmen, though Irish national heroes have also visited the pub. These were such revolutionaries as Daniel O’Connell, Michael Collins, and Wolf Tone. And even Robert Emmet spent nights here too.

It would be fair to note nevertheless that the “The Brazen Head” pub is not a usual Irish pub. The matter is that a famous Irish writer, James Joyce, mentioned the “The Brazen Head” pub in his novel about his Ulysses’ adventures.

As a conclusion, we hope that our story has uncovered a bit the veil on the mystery of Irish pubs’ popularity.

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