Stephens Green
Probably Dublinís best known Victorian park is St. Stephens Green. Located on the Southside of Dublin just south of Grafton Street; the main shopping street in Dublin. It is 22 acres of beautifully laid out and manicured parkland. Itís very popular during lunchtimes of the summer where it is filled with students and office workers alike. During the summer months bands often play at its bandstand, it also has a pond which attracts ducks and other wildlife.

Unfortunately many of the original buildings on the Green no longer exist, of the buildings to survive are the Newman House, built by Buck Whaley and later the home of the Catholic University (now University College Dublin and moved to the suburbs), Iveagh House (now the Department of Foreign Affairs) and the later buildings of the Stephens Green Club and The Shelbourne Hotel. In medieval times, St. Stephenís Green was a marshy commons on the edge of Dublin, used for grazing. The park was enclosed with a wall in 1664. The houses built around the Green were rapidly replaced by the Georgian style and by the end of the eighteenth century; the Green was a place of resort for the better-off of the city.

Stephenís Green Shopping Centre was built in October 1988. It was, when it was built, Ireland's largest shopping centre. Its style was intended to represent a conservatory on the side facing the Green and to mirror the brickwork design of the opposing Gaiety Theatre on South King Street. Centrally located and beside Dublinís most prestigious shopping area; Grafton Street, it contains over 100 outlets.

Located nearby is the national concert Hall this magnificent building was part of the university before being converted to its current use in the late 1970s. Take note of the insignificant-looking red brick building beside it. The subject of a long-running preservation battle, this building is actually one of the few original Real Tennis courts in the world, and was the venue for the World Championship in 1890. Behind these two building is the Iveagh Gardens an idyllic park and lesser known park it is an ideal escape from city life.

Built to house the Great Exhibition a hundred years ago, Newman House, at 85-86 St Stephens Green, has been lovingly restored and is well worth a visit, particularly for its fine stucco work.The Royal Hibernian Academy in Ely Place is an artist based and artist oriented institution in Ireland this building houses four galleries; here the Academy mounts the annual exhibition, the Academy curates frequent exhibitions and frequently is responsible for major retrospectives of the work of Irish artists. Nearby Rubicon Gallery is also worth a look for art buffs.

There are a number of high end hotels in the area and a great choice of bars and restaurants which suits all tastes and pockets.
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