Grafton_Street
Buskers on Grafton Street
Grafton Street is one of the main shopping streets in Dublin and together with the Powerscourt Townhouse shopping centre on South William Street they offer a great selection on upper end consumer items. The Powerscourt Shopping Centre offers a hoast of specialised shops, boutiques, spectacular crystals, original art, portrait photography and gourmet chocolate. Grafton Street boasts high end shops such as Brown Thomas and Weirs Jewellers, The is also a good selection of art Galleries on adjoining streets such as Giles Norman Photographic Gallery Dublin, Jorgensen Fine Art Gallery, Kerlin Gallery, Lemonstreet Gallery, Solomon Gallery, and The Frederick Gallery.

Grafton Street begins at the south at Saint Stephens Green a beautiful green with lakes and spectacular flower beds, and ends at College Green. The street was named after the first Duke of Grafton, who owned land in the area. The street was developed from a then existing country lane by the Dawson family in 1708, and has grown in strength from then, it was pedistrianised in the eighties. Since it was pedistrianised it has become a mecca for buskers and mime artists that never fail to draw big crowds.

The two main landmarks on the street are the Molly Malone statue and Bewleys Café. Molly Molone was a fishmonger who was immortalised by a song and has since become almost the symbol of Dublin. The Bewleys Café, a Grafton Street institution since its opening in 1927. It now houses a museum which chronicles the history of the coffee, tea, and chocolate industries in Ireland over its 150 years in Ireland.




Nearby Leinster House on Dawson Street was designed by Richard Cassels in 1745 for the Earls of Kildare and Leinster. It is now the seat of both houses of the Irish Parliament - the Dail and the Senate. James Fitzgerald who commissioned the building set out to create the stateliest of Dublin Georgian Mansions to reflect his eminent position in Irish society. It has been claimed that it formed a model for the design of the White House, the residence of the President of the United States, the designer of which was Irish. Also on Dawson Street is another building of note the Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin. Built in 1715 by Joshua Dawson it has subsequently been extended to form the current Mansion House. New additions include external rendering, the fine porch and the round room adjacent, which was built for the visit of George IV, and was the venue for the first sitting of Dail Eireann in 1919. Today the building is used mostly for civic functions and receptions. This building is not open to the public.

Located beside the Mansion House and also built by Joshua Dawson is St Ann's church. Built in1707, St. Ann's striking Romanesque façade was added in 1868 it’s had famous parishioners such as Douglas Hyde and Wolfe Tone who married here as did Draculas author, Bram Stoker. Inside is a series of colourful stained glass windows, dating from the mid-19th century.

National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology and History on Dawson Street, is the national repository for all archaeological objects found in Ireland. This museum houses over 2,000,000 artefacts which range in date between 7000BC and the late medieval period. The Ardagh Chalice, the Broighter Hoard, Derrynaflan Hoard and the Tara Brooch are among the many exquisite exhibits in the museum.

There is plenty of lively entertainment in the evenings with the Gaiety Theatre close at hand and a selection of bars and clubs in the area. There are also some very chic hotels in the area.

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