Co Dublin is home to Ireland's capital city, but it also boasts brilliant coastal villages and scenic trails and walks. The country's most populous area, Dublin County is teeming with culture and history.

Here are our 10 interesting facts about Co. Dublin.

1. County Dublin is the country’s third smallest county but a third of Ireland’s population lives there. 

The Temple Bar Pub is a gathering spot for locals and tourists in Dublin's Temple Bar neighborhood.

The Temple Bar Pub is a gathering spot for locals and tourists in Dublin's Temple Bar neighborhood.

2. County Dublin is home to Ireland’s capital city and the country’s largest city. The Irish government recognizes 988 AD as the year in which Dublin was settled. The name of the city comes from the Gaelic “dubh linn” meaning “black pool” and refers to a dark tidal pool where the Poddle stream entered the Liffey at Dublin Castle.

3. The River Liffey flows through Co Dublin, dividing it into north and south, and flows through the center of Dublin City. The word Liphe (or Life) originally referred to the name of the plain through which the river ran. The river is 75 miles long and empties into Dublin Bay.

4. Many great Irish literary figures such as James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Jonathan Swift, Bram Stocker and Sam Beckett came from County Dublin.

5. To the northeast of Dublin City lies Howth Head peninsula, a popular destination for hikers. In James Joyce’s "Ulysses," Howth Head is where Leopold Bloom proposes to Molly. Joyce also mentions the location in his short story “Eveline” from "Dubliners."

6. Killiney Beach, in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Co. Dublin, is a long stony beach which boasts stunning views of Bray Head, Dalkey Island and Sorrento Terrace.

Killiney Beach

Killiney Beach

7. Dublin Castle  was founded in 1204 on the orders of King John of England. Until 1922, it was the center of British rule in Ireland. Today, it is used for important State receptions and Presidential inaugurations. It also houses the Chester Beatty Library, which has some of the finest collections of Eastern art in the world.

8. Trinity College, founded in 1592, is one of the oldest centers of learning. Its library is home to the Book of Kells, a Latin text of the four gospels, with meticulous artwork around the borders, created in the ninth century.

9. Officially the oldest pub in Ireland, the Brazen Head, located in Dublin city, dates back to 1198.

10. The Dublin Mountains Way was recently named one of the most scenic routes in the world. The walking trail was established in 2009 and stretches 25 miles. It encompasses mountain trails, country paths and rural roads.

*Originally published in September 2015.