Tuesday, March 30, 2010

St. Stephen's Green - Dublin

St. Stephen's Green (Irish: Faiche Stiabhna) is a 27-acre public park in central Dublin. The rectangular green space adjoins Grafton Street and a large enclosed shopping mall at its northwest corner, opposite Fusiliers arch (photo below), a stone entry gate erected in 1907 to commemorate the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who died in the Second Boer War.

Within the park are a large lake, footbridge, fountains, benches, bandstand, gazebo, an artificial waterfall and various statues and memorials. An unusual feature is a garden for the blind that features scented plants. The park, which dates back to 1664, is open only during daylight hours.

Prior to 1877 St. Stephen's Green was a private square for the use of the residents who lived along its perimeter, much as Fitzwilliam Square is to this day. In that year, through the generosity of Arthur Edward Guinness (of brewing family fame), negotiations were concluded for converting it into a public park. He paid off the park's debts and invested a further £20,000 in laying out the grounds as a park and garden.

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