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Phoenix Park is a public park located at the west of the city centre in Dublin with 11 km perimeter wall that encloses 707 hectares of the area used for recreational spaces.
Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed park in Europe.
Before opened for public, Phoenix Park was built as a hunting park by the Duke of Ormond in 1662 filled with pheasants and wild deer. In the beginning, the area of the park includes the demesne of Kilmainham Priory south of the River Liffey. The size was reduced to its present size in 1680 due to the Royal Hospital at Kilmainham that commenced for the use of veterans of the Royal Irish Army. The park was first opened for public in 1745 by the Earl of Chesterfield. Phoenix Park also has a dark past that is known as the Phoenix Park Murders. The incident took the life of the Chief Secretary for Ireland, Lord Frederick Cavendish and the Under-Secretary for Ireland, Thomas Henry Burke. The victims were stabbed with surgical knives when walking from Dublin Castle. A small group known as the Irish National Invincibles was the ones responsible for the murders. Nowadays, Phoenix Park has become one of the oldest and an important landmark in Dublin.
Located in the Phoenix Park is the Wellington Monument that has the height of 62 metres. The tall obelisk was made to commemorate the victories of Duke of Wellington and is the largest obelisk in Europe. The obelisk was originally designed to be taller than it is. However, the building had to be stopped because of the lack of funding. Here, you can see four bronze plaques cast from cannon captured at the Battle of Waterloo designed by Robert Smirke. There are also some other monuments inside the park. Those are the Phoenix Column that is located on Chesterfield Avenue, and a 60 cm monument made to commemorate Lord Cavendish and Thomas Henry Burke who were murdered in the park.
Visit the Pearse Lyons Distillery to acquire rich insight into the whiskey-making legacy of Ireland. Tourists are invited to savor and taste samples of specially handcrafted Irish gin and whiskey. This boutique distillery is not only innovative but one of the finest in Dublin. Tourists are guided through the distillery process while sniffing, touching and sampling throughout the steps of distillation. Every tourist finishes with an incredible savoring experience of three different handcrafted Irish whiskeys and the famous Ha'Penny Dublin Dry Gin.
The next interesting attraction inside the park is the Ashtown Castle that is also the oldest building in Phoenix Park. Ashtown Castle has its own unique story because it is originally hidden within walls of much larger Georgian building known as the Ashtown Lodge. The lodge was used by Papal Nuncio until 1978 and was seemed irrepairable due to dry rot. When the lodge was being demolished, Ashtown Castle was then discovered inside it. The castle is thought to originally date from around 1430s and has been restored.
When you visit the Phoenix Park, then Dublin Zoo is a must visit place. The zoo was opened in 1831 that makes it the fourth oldest zoo in Europe. Dublin Zoo is also considered as one of the most popular attractions in Dublin. Inside the 28 hectares zoo, there are some areas to be discovered. Those areas are Asian Forests, Orangutan Forest, the Kaziranga Forest Trail, Sea Lion Cove, African Plains, Fringes of the Arctic, City Farm, Roberts House, House of Reptiles, and South American House. Dublin Zoo is the house of more than 700 animals and tropical birds from around the world.
When you don't know what to do, just lay back and enjoy the environment of the park is already a nice and relaxing to do. Phoenix Park houses 351 identified plant species that are rare and protected. According to a survey conducted in 2008, the park is also the habitat of 72 species of birds. Of course, because it was used to be a hunting park, deer is a common thing to be seen here. The park also has a lake inside and there are tracks for sport activities. The calming ambience makes the park a perfect spot to spend your time. One of the favorite spots is the The Victorian Tearooms that is located beside the Dublin Zoo.
How to Get Tickets?
No ticket is needed to enter the Phoenix Park. However, some admissions fee are needed for the buildings inside the park. You can get the information at the Visitor Centre.
How To Get Around?
To get around Phoenix Park, you can get on the hop-on hop-off bus. Some people may also recommend walking or cyclling, but it can be tiring because the park has a wide area.
What Should I Wear?
Wear layered clothes since it might get cold in the outdoors, especially on winter. Wear clothes like long-sleeved tops, jumper, jackets, cardigans, and trousers. Do mix up the colors and combination of your outfit. Wear also a pair of comfortable walking shoes since you're going to walk around a lot.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit the Phoenix Park is in the summer because the park will offer the best view, though it can be very hot. If you want to do some sports, you can visit the park early in the morning because the park is open 24 hours.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, you don't need a guide. Stroll around in the park on your own to enjoy the whole thing.
How To Get There?
You can go by the CityScape Tour Bus and stop at Phoenix Park. You can also ride bus number 66 or train with the route to Maynooth.
You can encounter some deers in the park, but don't get too close or feed them. If they get too much food, they might get unhealthy and don't live long.