About St Stephen's Green
St Stephen's Green Lake. Image credit: Sean MacEntee
There are several small public parks located in the public squares of Georgian Dublin, but at 22 acres, St Stephen’s Green is the largest. Ireland’s most famous public park dates to 1880 and lies a few steps from the Grafton Street shopping district. It’s ideal for picnics or an hour’s respite from the hustle and bustle of the commercial district.
Before its development, this was a marshy common located on the edge of Dublin. Villagers put their animals out to graze here, and it saw little use otherwise. Initially, city planners closed off the marshy area with a wall so that they sell off plots of land on the perimeter. This walled-in area eventually became the Victorian-style park.
St Stephen’s Green is rectangular in shape and laid out around a central garden. It features a large lake that plays host to ducks and other birdlife. Fusilier’s Arch is a highlight. It’s located at the north end of the park close to Grafton Street and was modelled after the Arch of Titus in Ancient Rome. It memorialises the Irish soldiers who fought and died for the British during the Boer War.
The Royal College of Surgeons is another prominent site here. During the Easter Rising (1916), Irish forces occupied the building and attempted to hold it against the English. A popular local anecdote says that opposing sides stopped fire each day so that the groundskeeper could feed the ducks.
St Stephen’s Green has another unusual highlight. A garden for the blind is planted with fragrant plants that have specifically chosen for full sensory experience. Each plant is identified by a placard with brail writing on it. Even the plants themselves are meant to be touched, as each variety was selected for its hardiness and tactile experience.
Take a virtual stroll through St Stephen’s Green on Flickr for a taste of what to expect. Â
Photos of St Stephen's Green Park:
Famine Memorial. Photo credit: infomatique
Lakeside at St Stephen's Green. Photo credit: infomatique
Three Fates Statues. Photo credit: Anosmia
Swans basking in the sun. Photo credit: Sean MacEntee
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