Dublin, like most European cities, has a very long history. Since before the discovery of America, Smithfield Square was already a very important place for the capital of Ireland. In the 17th century, records began to be kept of Smithfield, a popular area in Dublin, which has been characterised by its market, horse fairs, and, later, by its architectural renovation and social adaptation.

The Market

Smithfield has been in history, above all, a market. Smithfield Square is also well known as Smithfield Market, for its vast history as a place where there was an open market of different products. Smithfield is very much associated with food and drink because of its history as a market for more than four centuries.

The 20th Century

As a market and residential area of passage, Smithfield remained a very important place in Dublin. During the 20th century, the Historic Area Rejuvenation Plan (HARP) took place, which also included Smithfield. This caused many architectural changes in the area, mainly oriented towards restoration, such as the cobblestones, which were removed, cleaned, and re-laid. Also, after the HARP, the plaza became more contemporary in architecture, with twelve gas lighting towers, each with a flame that exceeds two meters.

Smithfield Today

Although it is no longer so well known as a market area – as it is a large square – Smithfield has managed to become an ideal place for horse fairs, which have been held since the 1980s. Additionally, Smithfield is the current location for many film festivals, and it is also a transit place for different judicial and administrative institutions.

Today (as of 2020), Smithfield is a quiet residential place for people in Dublin, and it is also a very attractive destination for tourists who visit the area all year round, especially during some cultural events or horse fair.