If you’re an ISI student taking a break from studying English in Dublin this summer, why not head to St. Stephen’s Green?
That’s assuming you haven’t gone already! St. Stephen’s Green is one of the most famous parks in all of Dublin, the go-to meeting place for people in all walks of life. It is very centrally located, right at the top of Grafton Street, in the heart of the city’s shopping district. Transport to and from St. Stephen’s Green is easily obtained, with a perpetual line of taxis parked outside, as well as the Luas line which runs right beside the park.
Brief history of St. Stephen’s Green
St. Stephen’s Green park was officially opened in 1880 by Lord Ardilaun, who is commemorated in the park by a prominent statue, which faces the Royal College of Surgeons, which he also opened. However, there was already a green area in that part of Dublin many centuries before that. St. Stephen’s Green is of some considerable historical significance, and various scenes from Ireland’s War of Independence took place there, hence some of the patriots who are represented there in stone and bronze and plaques alike. There are sculpted busts of various Irish historical and literary luminaries throughout the park, such as the novelist James Joyce and the poet James Clarence Mangan. You may also find statues or busts in the park of the likes of Robert Emmet, Theobald Wolfe Tone, Constance Markievicz and Thomas Kettle.
of St. Stephen’s Green
The park is distinguished by the imposing Fusilier’s Arch, reminiscent of many a triumphal arch elsewhere on the continent. The park also sits opposite St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, another prominent landmark. It is also located very near to the Dail, the seat of administrative power and the government buildings in Ireland.
The park is an ideal place for a picnic or a coffee with a friend. Indeed, it is sometimes a victim of its own success and prominence, as almost everyone tends to meet there, and a newcomer may find it a bit overcrowded on a sunny day! It is often full of professional people grabbing a quick bite to eat during their lunch hour, as well as students during downtime – not surprising, given its proximity to Trinity College Dublin.
In the summer, concerts are sometimes held in St. Stephen’s Green – outdoor plays have also been known to take place there, for instance, performances of Shakespeare have happened in the past. The park has a great abundance of flowers and these are carefully tended by the gardeners. Opening times of the park vary according to the season of the year – it shuts early in the winter and late in the summer. The centre of the park is dominated by the magnificent duck pond – one may walk over it via the numerous bridges. St. Stephen’s Green also plays host to numerous very cheeky and confident seagulls, who may try their best to steal your lunch – so watch out, these birds may look cute but they can bite and have been known to snatch burgers from tourists!
So there you go – if you’re an ISI student taking a break from studying English in Dublin this summer, St. Stephen’s Green should be your go-to destination! Though as we say, it’s more than likely you’ve gone there already… Have fun either way!