The_Phoenix_Park

The Phoenix Park is the largest urban enclosed park in Europe, with a total area of 712 hectares and is situated 3km (2m) west of the city centre. Opened to the people of Dublin by Lord Chesterfield in 1747, it holds within its great expanse the presidentís residence, Dublin Zoo, a castle, a police museum, monuments, ornamental gardens, forests, nature trails and open stretches where livestock and deer roam freely. It also has its own Visitor centre which has an entertaining exhibition on the history and wildlife of the Phoenix Park.

Dublin Zoo was established in 1830, making it the third oldest zoo in the world and has since grown in size and variety of animals on show. It houses more than 700 animals and tropical birds from around the world, with several endangered species on show. The zoo is very child friendly and occupies 66 acres and includes a city farm, a discovery centre, an enclosure called the African Plains, and a zoo train. Several are represented here.

Aras An Uachtarain is the name of the Presidents Residence in Ireland, located in the heart of the Pheonix Park. Built in 1751 the original house was built by Park Ranger Nathaniel Clements. In 1938 it became the Official Residence of the President of Ireland and has been used for that purpose since. Guided tours are available (which last one hour) and include an introductory film at the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre, return transport to the residence, tour of the exhibition centre and the main state reception rooms. The residence of the American Ambassador is also located within the park.
Among the many monument in the park is the Papal Cross which was erected for the visit of Pope John Paul II in September 1979, over one million people visited the open air mass thatís over a quarter of the population at the time. Commemorating the victories of Duke of Wellington is a 62 meter obelisk known as the Wellington Monument. Erected in 1747 by Lord Chesterfield is The Phoenix Monument. This monument in shape of a Corinthian column has a Phoenix bird rising from the ashes at its pinnacle.

The nearby National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History is home to a wide range of objects which include weaponry, silver, furniture, glassware and ceramics. The exhibitions have been designed in innovative and contemporary galleries. A full sized Viking longship is amoung its newest attractions.

War Memorial Gardens, are one of the most famous memorial gardens in Europe. They are dedicated to the memory of 49,400 Irish soldiers who died in the 1914-1918 war. The names of all the soldiers are contained in the granite bookrooms in the Gardens. These gardens are not only a place of remembrance but are also of architectural interest and of great beauty.

Just across the river Liffey is Kilmainham, it was here at Kilmainham that a large amount of Vikings settled when they first came to Ireland. Kilmainham holds one of a small number of Viking burial sites in Dublin, the others including Islandbridge at the opposite side of the River Liffey. Also in the area is The Irish Museum of Modern Art, and Kilmainham Gaol, where the executions of the leaders of the Easter Rising took place. Heuston Station, one of Dublin's two main railway stations, is nearby.

Drimnagh Castle was, one of the oldest continually inhabited Castles in Ireland, until 1954 and is a great example of an old feudal stronghold. It is surrounded by a flooded moat, which is unique in surviving castles. It is now stocked with fish. The castle, built of local grey limestone,one of the most attractive aspects of Drimnagh is the garden - a formal 17th Century layout with box hedges, yews, mop head laurels and an alley of hornbeam.

The area around the Phoenix Park and lots of bars and restaurants in which to spend your evening there is also a great choice of Hotels and B&BS

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