The Georgian Squares
If you’re looking to take a walk around Dublin to admire the city’s Georgian architecture, start at Baggot Street and work your way up to St. Stephen’s Green. If you want to admire all 5 of Dublin’s Georgian Squares, it’s probably best to travel by car or public transport as they are scattered throughout the city.
Merrion Square was laid out in the 1760’s and made open to the public. Merrion Square is considered one of the best-preserved areas of Georgian Dublin and is home to many historic and beautifully designed town houses. Over the years, many of the Georgian buildings in Merrion Square were home to some very notable Dublin figures. Take a stroll around the square and you will find plaques commemorating former residents such as the great Daniel O’Connell, W.B. Yeats, George Russell and even Oscar Wilde. Tenants like these make for an impressive neighbourhood, right?
Parnell Square was originally called Rutland Square, but was renamed after Charles Stewart Parnell. The square is surrounded on three sides by terraces of stunning, original Georgian houses and the Garden of Remembrance is located along the northern side of the square.
Mountjoy Square was built and developed in the early 1790’s, with the final works getting completed in 1818. Over the years, Mountjoy Square has been home to some very famous Irish figures such as James Joyce and Sean O’Casey. It can claim to be the only “truly” Georgian square in Dublin as it is the only square with sides that measure exactly 140 metres in length. Although some of the original buildings fell to ruin and were demolished, the new buildings feature reproduced façades, so the square does in fact maintain a complete appearance as a Georgian terrace.
St. Stephen’s Green
St. Stephen’s Green is the earliest existing of Dublin’s great squares. In the 1660’s, James Butler, the first Duke of Ormond, was the person who decided to redesign Dublin as a capital. His first project was to create Europe’s largest square – St. Stephen’s Green. Until then the area was used as marshy land for cattle…and even occasionally for the odd execution! In 1664, the central area of the park was laid and the Dublin commission constructed several different Georgian style buildings around the perimeter of the square, many of which still stand today.
Built in the 1820’s, Fitzwilliam Square was the last and indeed the smallest of Dublin’s infamous Georgian squares to be developed. Interestingly, it is the only square whose park continues to remain for the exclusive use of square residents only.
The Georgian Squares of Dublin are awaiting your exploration. Are you ready to be marvelled by stunning Georgian architecture that will make you not want to put your camera down?
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