Dublin’s history starts with its name. Dubh Linn—Irish for Black Pool—which lies at end of the River Liffey that carves the city in two. At first glance it appears as though Dublin has been occupied by every passing gang with a flag to embed (except the Romans, strangely enough). First off the boat were the Iron Age Celts of about 700 BC, followed by the Danish Vikings (whose original city walls can still be seen on Wood Quay), who were in turn expelled in 1171 by the Anglo-Normans. In 1649, reviled mercenary Oliver Cromwell took over, cementing the 800-year occupation by the British initially established by his predecessors. Under 18th century British rule, Dublin became a prosperous city and the second city of the British Empire. It wasn’t long, however, before the much-maligned and oppressed Catholics decided they’d had enough nonsense from the Brits. Much of the legendary Easter 1916 Rising took place around Dublin and the subsequent War of Independence led to the establishment of an Irish Free State in 1922 when Dublin regained control of government.