- Carrolls Irish Gifts
O'Connell Street Upper is a well-known and historically significant street located in the heart of Dublin, the capital city of Ireland. It is one of the main thoroughfares in the city and is considered the widest street in Dublin.
O'Connell Street Upper runs north to south, connecting Parnell Street in the north to O'Connell Bridge and the River Liffey in the south. The street is approximately 500 meters long and is lined with various shops, restaurants, cafes, and other businesses, making it a bustling area for locals and tourists alike.
The street is named after Daniel O'Connell, a prominent Irish political leader in the 19th century who campaigned for Catholic emancipation and the rights of the Irish people. At the center of O'Connell Street Upper stands a large monument dedicated to him, known as the O'Connell Monument or The Spire of Dublin. This stainless steel spire, which replaced the Nelson Pillar in 2003, has become a symbol of modern Dublin.
In addition to the O'Connell Monument, the street is also home to several other notable landmarks and historical buildings. Some of these include the General Post Office (GPO), a significant site in Irish history where the 1916 Easter Rising took place, and the Clerys building, a well-known department store.
O'Connell Street Upper is a vibrant and bustling area, attracting tourists, shoppers, and locals throughout the year. It also serves as a venue for various events and parades, especially on significant Irish holidays and occasions.
Top Tourist Attractions
O'Connell Street Upper is surrounded by several top tourist attractions that draw visitors from all over the world. Here are some of the notable attractions you can find in and around :
- The Spire of Dublin (O'Connell Monument): Located at the heart of O'Connell Street Upper, the Spire of Dublin is a striking stainless steel monument that stands 120 meters tall. It's also known simply as "The Spire." Visitors often gather around this iconic landmark, which offers unique photo opportunities.
- General Post Office (GPO): Situated on O'Connell Street Lower, the GPO is not just a functional post office but also a historically significant building. It was here that the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising made their headquarters. The GPO Witness History Visitor Centre, located inside, provides an immersive and informative experience about the Easter Rising and Irish history.
- Dublin City Gallery - The Hugh Lane: Located a short walk from O'Connell Street Upper, The Hugh Lane houses an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, including works by renowned artists such as Francis Bacon. The gallery is also known for its recreation of Francis Bacon's studio.
- James Joyce Centre: For literature enthusiasts, the James Joyce Centre, located on North Great George's Street, offers insights into the life and works of the celebrated Irish writer, James Joyce. Exhibits, lectures, and events related to Joyce's literary legacy are featured here.
- Abbey Theatre: Positioned just off O'Connell Street on Abbey Street Lower, the Abbey Theatre is the national theater of Ireland. It has a rich history and plays a vital role in promoting Irish playwrights and theater productions.
- Dublin Writers Museum: Situated on Parnell Square, a short distance from O'Connell Street Upper, this museum celebrates the lives and works of Ireland's literary giants. It exhibits personal belongings, manuscripts, and first editions of famous Irish writers, such as James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, and Samuel Beckett.
- Garden of Remembrance: Located at the northern end of O'Connell Street, this peaceful garden serves as a memorial to all those who gave their lives for Irish freedom. It is a poignant and tranquil spot for reflection.
- Ha'penny Bridge (Liffey Bridge): While not directly on O'Connell Street, Ha'penny Bridge is a short walk away and is one of Dublin's most famous landmarks. This pedestrian bridge, with its distinctive design, spans the River Liffey and connects the north and south sides of the city.
Please note that the availability and accessibility of attractions may vary, so I recommend checking the opening hours and current visitor information for each site before planning your visit.
O'Connell Street Upper holds significant historical importance and has been a witness to various events and changes over the years. Here are some historical facts related to O'Connell Street Upper:
- Origins and Name: The street was originally laid out in the late 18th century and was named "Sackville Street" after Lionel Sackville, the first Duke of Dorset and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. However, in 1924, the street's name was changed to O'Connell Street to honor Daniel O'Connell, a renowned Irish political leader known as "The Liberator" for his efforts in securing Catholic emancipation and advocating for the rights of the Irish people.
- The 1916 Easter Rising: During the Easter Rising of 1916, a pivotal event in Irish history, O'Connell Street was at the center of the conflict. The General Post Office (GPO) building on O'Connell Street Lower served as the headquarters of the rebels led by figures like Patrick Pearse and James Connolly. The rebels occupied the GPO and used it as their main base for the rebellion against British rule. The GPO was significantly damaged during the Rising, and its façade still bears the marks of bullet holes from the historic event. Today, the GPO serves as a reminder of the struggle for Irish independence.
- The Nelson Pillar: Before the construction of the Spire of Dublin, the focal point of O'Connell Street was the Nelson Pillar. The monument was erected in 1808 in honor of Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar. However, it became a target for Irish nationalists, and in 1966, it was destroyed by a bomb planted by the IRA (Irish Republican Army) to mark the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
- The Spire of Dublin: In 2003, the Spire of Dublin, also known as the Monument of Light, was erected at the site of the former Nelson Pillar. The Spire is a sleek, stainless steel structure that stands 120 meters tall and has become a modern iconic landmark of Dublin.
- Social and Political Gatherings: Throughout its history, O'Connell Street Upper has been a place of public gatherings and demonstrations. It has been the site of numerous political rallies, social movements, and public events, reflecting the changing social and political landscape of Ireland.
- Economic and Commercial Hub: Over the years, O'Connell Street Upper has evolved into a bustling commercial hub with various shops, department stores, restaurants, theaters, and other businesses. It remains a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
- Transportation: O'Connell Street Upper has also been a significant transportation route in Dublin. In the past, it was a bustling thoroughfare for horse-drawn carriages and trams. Today, it continues to be an essential route for buses, taxis, and pedestrians.
O'Connell Street Upper's history is intertwined with the broader history of Dublin and Ireland, making it a place of both symbolic and practical importance in the city's development and identity.
It runs through the heart of Dublin's city center and is one of the main thoroughfares in the area.
The street begins at its northern end near Parnell Street and continues southward, crossing several important streets such as Cathal Brugha Street, O'Connell Bridge, and Westmoreland Street. It eventually merges into O'Connell Street Lower before reaching the River Liffey.
The River Liffey essentially divides the city of Dublin into two parts: the northern and southern halves. O'Connell Street Upper lies on the northern side of the river and is situated close to many of Dublin's major landmarks, attractions, and commercial areas.
The Spire of Dublin (O'Connell Monument) is a prominent landmark at the center of O'Connell Street Upper, making it easy for visitors to identify this famous street while exploring Dublin. Additionally, the street is well-served by public transportation, with numerous bus routes passing through it and nearby Luas tram stops, making it easily accessible to both locals and tourists.