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Temple Bar, Dublin

county dublinTemple Bar, on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin, is recognised as 'Dublin's cultural quarter' and has a lively nightlife that is popular with tourists.

One theory is that it got its name from the Temple family, who lived in the area in the 17th century - Sir William Temple, provost of Trinity College Dublin in 1609, had his house and gardens here. Alternatively, it may have been named in imitation of the Temple Bar in London. Wherever it got its name, the earliest historical reference to 'Temple Bar' is on a 1673 map.

Temple Bar has preserved its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets, and two squares have been renovated in recent years - Meetinghouse Square and the central Temple Bar Square. Meetinghouse Square, which takes its name from the nearby Quaker Meeting House, is used for outdoor film screenings in the summer months and is home to the Temple Bar Food Market every Saturday. The Temple Bar Book Market is held on Saturdays and Sundays in Temple Bar Square. The Cow's Lane Market is a fashion and design market which takes place on Cow's Lane every Saturday.

Temple Bar is famed for its buzzing nightlife, and most of the nightclubs, restaurants and bars are very tourist-orientated. Famous pubs include well-known names such as The Porterhouse, the Temple Bar, the Oliver St John Gogarty, the Quays Bar, the Turk's Head, Czech Inn, the Purty Kitchen, Eamonn Doran's and the Foggy Dew.

Temple Bar is the location of many Irish cultural institutions, including the Irish Film Institute, the Temple Bar Music Centre, the Irish Photography Centre, the Ark Children's Cultural Centre, Temple Bar Gallery and Studio, the Gaiety School of Acting, as well as the Irish Stock Exchange and the Central Bank of Ireland.

Fishamble Street in Temple Bar was the location of the first performance of Handel's Messiah on 13 April 1742. An annual performance of the Messiah is held on the same date at the same location.

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