St Stephen’s Green is a Victorian public park in the middle of Dublin, which has maintained its original layout and acts as a peaceful, historic haven surrounded by the bustling streets of the city. Examples of Victorian architecture and sculptures are scattered about the park, making it a place of tourist landmarks as well as a local getaway. From having stood in the same spot for centuries, the park has captured the movements of Irish history, creating a combination of nature and culture within its gates.
The park has many beautiful natural features including a large lake, with a waterfall and gazebo, which is home to various species of water bird. There are many gardens, the most spectacular one being for the blind, with heavily scented plant life and Braille descriptions. Culture also fills the space of St Stephen’s Green, for example, the Three Fates fountain is a memorial once donated from Germany giving thanks to Ireland’s foster home programme for refugees during World War II. Many statues dedicated to prominent Irish figures fill the park, including those of notable writers like Yeats and James Joyce.
Many Dublin bus routes pass by St Stephen’s Green and stop on the east side beside the park. On the west side, there is a train station called St Stephen’s Green, which connects to the rest of the city via the Green Line. For further connections, visitors can easily access central Dublin station where there are routes to the airport and the rest of Ireland.
Although there is little architecture that remains from the 17th Century, this is when St Stephen’s Green first established itself, when enclosed with a wall, built upon and sold as an exclusive housing estate. The Green opened to the public in 1877 and became the park layout it is today in 1880, through a project initiated by a member of the Guinness family. It was used a base for rebels during the Easter Rising when over 200 men blocked the gates, but it now stands as a place of peace and relaxation for the people of Dublin.