Phoenix Park has a long and fascinating history, and should be on the itinerary of anybody visiting the city of Dublin. Lying just two kilometres from the city centre and covering over seven hundred hectares, it is one of the proudest and most historic parks in Europe. European capitals are famed around the globe for their beautiful parks, quiet havens of nature and tranquillity where Europeans can take a breather from their day-to-day lives and take in some of the heritage and culture of which they are a part of.
The park is a key part of the city of Dublin and boasts lush areas of grassland, tree lined avenues and even its own herd of deer. It was established in the late seventeenth century by the Duke of Ormond, an eminent Viceroy named James Butler, on behalf of his King Charles ll. It was originally established as a deer park, a common penchant of Seventeenth Century noblemen, and has been home to herds of fallow deer ever since. Generations of these deer have roamed the park, and lucky visitors might see them passing even today!
The park is well known for being walled, common for the era, and was enclosed in a stone wall shortly after being established. The wall was originally poorly built, and has been repaired and rebuilt over the ages as the parks boundaries have expanded and contracted, making it an interesting artefact in its own right. Additionally, the park is home to numerous buildings and artefacts that are worth visiting if you’re in the area. The official residences of both the President of Ireland and the US ambassador are both located in the centre of the park and date all the way back to the late Eighteenth Century. For those of a more horticultural nature, the Victorian People’s Flower Gardens are located conveniently near one of the main entrances to the park and boast a large area of ornamental lakes, picnic areas and delightfully arranged flowerbeds in the classic Victorian style.
If you head towards the centre of the park you will surely have your eyes drawn towards the famous Wellington Monument, a two hundred foot obelisk commemorating the famous Duke of Wellington and his military victories. Of special significance are four bronze plaques, cast from cannons captured at the battle of Waterloo and inscribed with pictures representing Wellington’s illustrious military career.
One of the stops on our Dublin City tour is always the phoenix park.
There are numerous fascinating buildings and monuments littered throughout the park for visitors to explore, and only a small number have been mentioned here. In addition to these, the park boasts outstanding natural beauty and wildlife. It’s also a sanctuary for a range of birds and mammals. The park is home to nearly half of all Irelands bird and mammal species, making it an incredibly rich and biodiverse area. Furry Glen is a part of the park that comprises a series of short walks centred on a small lake and home to rare birds such as jays and woodpeckers. This park is truly stunning and visitors to Dublin cannot afford to leave without sampling its beauty and history. The Irish government is currently lobbying on the world stage to get Phoenix Park registered as a world heritage site, and we certainly believe that it deserves it!