Thursday, June 9, 2011
Ireland - Grafton Street, Dublin
Dublin city is spread over the broad valley of the river Liffey, with the Wicklow Hills sheltering it on the south. In addition to its splendid public buildings, Dublin is particularly rich in domestic architecture of the 18th century. It is one of Europe most beautifully situated capitals with pleasant beaches and mountains only a short journey away.
Sent by Claudia, a WiP partner from Ireland.
This is from Wikipedia : Grafton Street (Irish: Sráid Grafton) is one of the two principal shopping streets in Dublin city centre, the other being Henry Street. It runs from St. Stephen's Green in the south (at the lowest point of the street) to College Green in the north (to the highest point). In 2008, Grafton Street was the fifth most expensive main shopping street in the world, at €5,621/m².
The street was named after Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton, the illegitimate son of Charles II of England who owned land in the area. The street was developed from a then existing country lane by the Dawson family in 1708, after whom the parallel Dawson Street is named.
After O'Connell Bridge (then called 'Carlisle Bridge') was built to span the River Liffey, Grafton Street turned from a fashionable residential street into a busy cross-city route.
Since the 1980s, the street has been mostly pedestrianised, with the exception of the short stretch running between Nassau Street and College Green. This short stretch contains two notable Dublin landmarks, the eighteenth century Trinity College Provost's House, home to the head of the college, and the late twentieth century statue of Molly Malone, which has become a popular Dublin meeting place. A life-size bronze statue of Phil Lynott was unveiled on Harry Street, off Grafton Street near the Stephen's Green end, on 19 August 2005.
Bewley's Oriental Café, a Grafton Street institution since its opening in 1927, announced at the end of October 2004 that it would be closing before Christmas, along with its Westmoreland Street café. Following a campaign by many, including the then Mayor of Dublin, Catherine Byrne, the café on Grafton Street, which had closed, was reopened, including its small performance area.
Buskers, including musicians, poets and mime artists commonly perform to the shopping crowds. This scene was portrayed in the 2006 film Once, starring Glen Hansard of The Frames, a former Grafton Street busker.