Above, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin’s oldest building, was built on high ground overlooking a Viking settlement. It houses ancient manuscripts and artifacts. The bronze Famine Memorial, far left, shows emaciated victims from Ireland’s potato famine in the mid-1800s, when many people fled the country for better lives. About 1 million died. At left is fictional fishmonger Molly Malone. Visitors rub her for good luck, which is why her chest is so shiny.
• Green spaces: At 1,752 acres, Phoenix Park is the largest urban park in Europe. With a number of stately homes (including the Irish president’s official residence), sports fields, bicycle and pedestrian paths, and Victorian-styled gardens, it even has a large herd of deer originally introduced by King Charles II in 1662 for hunting. It is rich in history, and both Neolithic and Viking burial sites have been discovered on its grounds, and a medieval tower house sits fully restored next to the Visitor Center. St. Stephen’s Green is a 22-acre park in the heart of Dublin. Created in 1664, the park’s pond, bandstand, statues and gardens are a surprisingly quiet spot in the middle of city bustle. Directly across is St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Center with its informative and moving account of the Irish Potato Famine. 36 L I F E S T Y L E | M A R C H 2 0 1 8
• Grafton Street is a pedestrian-only shopping avenue anchored by St. Stephen’s Green and Trinity College at either end. • The Famine Memorial/Jeanie Johnston Ship/EPIC Emigration Museum: Ireland was forever changed by a single crop’s failure. Nutrient-rich potatoes were frequently the only food for tenant farmers (often Catholics forbidden from owning land) and a major component of every Irish diet. Caused by mold that blighted and then destroyed the potato crop, the famine was the greatest single peacetime tragedy in Western Europe since the Black Death in the 14th century. One million Irish died from starvation and another 1 million to 2 million left the country from 1847 to 1855. Initially reducing the population by 25 percent,
the disaster created circumstances that led to the further emigration of 8 million to 10 million more over the next 80 years. Reminders of this poignant history are in close proximity to each other along the north bank of the Liffey. The Famine Memorial consists of emaciated bronze figures of emaciated men, women and children standing along the bank of the river. The Jeanie Johnston is a replica of one of the ships that carried those seeking a new life across the Atlantic. The EPIC Museum is housed in the vault of the 1820 Custom House Quarter building (the original departure point for many emigrants). This museum tells the story of the Irish who left and their influence in their new countries. Interactive displays and resident genealogists also enable visitors to reference their own Irish ancestry.
Style, Art, Culture, and Events of the South Valley