Phoenix Park in Dublin is to my knowledge the largest Urban Park in the world. Situated on the north side of the River, Between Dublin 7,8 and 15 it is easily accessible by foot or by bus. You can walk through the park in a normal pace in about 1½-3 hours.
The park is home to many deer which you are likely to see, there are also a lot of small forests as well as fields. Some of the park's land is made into football fields.
Phoenix park is where the Pope held mass in front of 1 million catholics in 1980 (I think) and there is still a huge cros on the scene to be seen ;) .
The Ambassador of the United States also lives in the park.
The Phoenix Park is twice the size of New Yorks' central park. It is home to The President of Ireland, see my other tips on the Presidents House. The American Ambassador to Ireland and the Zoo. During the weekend in summertime you can see a game of Gaelic Football, cricket ,soccer and polo. It has many momuments and it really is a lovely place to go for a stroll. Although at night is can be a dangerous place and if your thinking of pitching a tent, think again. The park also has rangers who patrol the park during the day. The park also contains a visitors centre beside a 17th Century Castle, although it is very small and personally speaking not worth paying to go inside. You will also find a small cafe and the food is cheap and delicious. If you want to learn more about what's in the park the visitors center will provide all the information and for 2.75 will show you a video, although its out dated its still very cheap and informative.
The phoenix park was one of the first places in the city to have street lighting. At the time these laterns were gas and a watchman had to go around and light each individual gas light. This practice was still in operation in the Phoenix park until the end of the 60's and early 70's. At that time the gas was replaced with electiric wiring and lights but the old victorian stand and laterns were retained. In more recent times many of the lights have been re-converted to gas which can be ignited automaticaly. This gives visitors a sense of the old gas lighting from the 19th centuary.
A word of caution though is not to stray too far into the park or off the main roads through it too late at night - like all parks its not very safe if travelling alone.
This is reputed to be the largest urban enclosed park in Europe...unless, as they say, you know different ! It was originally an area known for its hunting and the park is currently home to a good number of deer that aren't likely to suffer the same fate as Bambi's mum !
The park houses the Dublin Zoo (one of the oldest in Europe) Its old victorian design can still be seen in the older buildings. The Azoo as Dubliners call it is being upgraded all the time and trying to create a better environment for its animals. Its well worth a visit and a high proportion of the entrance fee goes directly back to improvement of the Zoo.
The Park houses Aras an Uachtarain - this is the presidents residence, the police (Garda) headquarters, a militray barracks, victorian Tea rooms. Most of these are accessible via the Infirmery Rd / North Circular road entrance. As one goes further into the park towards Castleknock the park gives way to more open space, playing fileds and small wooded areas.
It is a great amenity enjoyed by Dubliners and visitors for many years. Like all parks it is not recommended on foot after dark but otherwise its a great place for a ramble, jogging, visiting the Azoo etc. and its worth the trip there.
Phoenix Monument in Phoenix Park is a Corinthian column with a phoenix bird rising from the ashes at its pinnacle. Erected by the Earl of Chesterfield who opened "Phoenix" Park to the people of Dublin it may be a wrong monument because irishs say the name of the park come from the gaelic "Fion Uisce" which means "clear water" and not Phoenix by the mitologycal bird but Chesterfield didnt know gaelic and put the monument as he understood in english.
The Phoenix Park, with 707 hectares , is reputed to be the largest municipal park within a city's limits in the world. It is located on the western edge of the city and originally served as a royal deer park in the 17th century. While it is popularly assumed that it was named after the mythical bird, most Irish experts believe the name may be derived from "Fion Uisce" which means "clear water" in gaelic. Phoenix Park is not only an urban garden and national park. It's home to Ireland's President and the American Ambassador. The park has a small castle (the visitor centre), the Dublin Zoo, the obelisk to the victor of Waterloo and many more place to relax.
Wellington Monument in Phoenix Park is the tallest obelisk in Europe. Built to commemorate the victories of the Duke of Wellington who was born in Dublin, It is 205 feet tall and It was completed in 1861.
There are four bronze plaques cast from cannons captured at Waterloo - three of which has pictorial representations of his career while the four has an inscription. The plaques depict 'Civil and Religious Liberty' by John Hogan, 'Waterloo' by Thomas Farrell and the 'Indian Wars' by Joseph Kirk. The inscription reads:
Asia and Europe, saved by thee, proclaim
Invincible in war thy deathless name,
Now round thy brow the civic oak we twine
That every earthly glory may be thine.
Áras an Uachtaráin is the Official Residence of the President of Ireland, and was formerly the Viceregal Lodge until independence in 1922. It was was built by Park Ranger Nathaniel Clements in 1751. In 1782 it had been acquired for use by the Viceroys who oversaw British rule in Ireland, in 1938 it became the Official Residence of the President of Ireland and has been used for that purpose since.
We decide that a sunny and warm afternoon cannot be wasted, so we depart for Phoenix Park. It is a giant tract of land with polo grounds, football fields, and many winding paths that are perfect for enjoying the autumn sunshine. All the guidebooks boast that Phoenix Park is the Europe's largest city park. We can't verify this, but it is expansive.
The woods and gardens make for good exploration. Its hard to believe that such a giant oasis of green is so close to Dublin's narrow streets and alleyways.
Read more at 9 Days in Eire
Dublin has many beautiful parks which are worth a visit.
In summertime the city parks often offer concerts (e.g. Blackrock Park, St. Stephens Green).
Other parks offer great panoramic views of the surrounding area (e.g. People's Park Dun Laoghaire, Killiney Hill Park). The famous Phoenix Park is one of the world's largest city parks.
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