is the capital
and the largest city of the Republic of Ireland
, located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey
and forms the centre of the Dublin Region
. Originally founded as a centre of Viking
settlement, the city has been Ireland's capital city since mediæval
times. The population within the city was 505,739 at the census of 2006. Beyond this, at the same census the Dublin Region
population was 1,186,159, whilst the Greater Dublin Area
had a figure of 1,661,185.
In a 2003 European wide survey by the BBC, questioning 11,200 residents of 112 urban and rural areas, Dublin was found to be the best capital city in Europe to live in, and the Republic of Ireland was judged to be the most content country in Europe. A person from Dublin is known as a Dubliner or colloquially as a Dub. Dublin is a major European cultural centre and the origin of many prominent literary figures including Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, Seán O'Casey, and Samuel Beckett.