The Georgian Squares of Dublin
Well seasoned travellers will tell you that there are certain things which make one city different from the next; traits or quirks which show you that a city is an individual blend of history and culture and which stop the various cities of Europe from blending into the same. That is never more evident than in the iconic Georgian squares of Dublin. There are five main squares and these are hubs of the community, with some pretty stunning architecture to boot.
Found just to the north of Dublin’s centre is Mountjoy Square, once considered the most impressive of the squares in the city. It has been the home of a number of well known Dubliners including James Joyce, John O’Leary and Arthur Guinness. It has also played a role in some of Ireland’s most significant historical moments; it is said that some of the early planning for the Easter Rising took place here. Perhaps Mountjoy’s biggest claim however is that it is the only true Georgian ‘square’ in Dublin, with all of its sides being exactly the same length.
St Stephen’s Green
This is probably the best known of Dublin’s Georgian squares, partly because it also boasts a number of fantastic city attractions as well as the square itself. It is located in the heart of Dublin, making it the perfect choice to visit if you are booked into one of the centrally located O’Callaghan hotels and is the ideal place to head if you want to escape the bustle of the city for a short while. It is also just a short walk from Grafton Street, Dublin’s famous shopping strip. It is often the location for special events in the city; such as the Peoples Art Exhibition which took place here in 2016 and saw hundreds of artists turn out to display their works and thousands more to attend.
Parnell Square is the oldest of the Dublin’s Georgian squares and was originally known as Rutland Square before being renamed after a prominent Irish politician, Charles Stewart Parnell. Parnell Square is a real hub of culture and is home to the Garden of Remembrance, the Dublin Writer’s Museum and the Hugh Lane Gallery. You can find it in the north but it is still very accessible if you are staying in one of the main hotels in Dublin.
Located on the south side of Dublin, Merrion Square remains almost the same as it was 200 years ago and has a popular events programme, making it a very popular place to go in the city. It is also home to some of Dublin’s best attractions including Leinster House, the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum.
Just a short walk from Merrion Square, Fitzwilliam Square is the smallest of the Georgian squares and was the last one to be created. It is home to a private park which is only available to residents, although it does on occasion, host special events which are open to the public.