Monuments and Architecture

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  • Aspects of Dublin City

Ha'penny Bridge

The Ha'penny Bridge was opened in 1816 and was officially known as Wellington Bridge after the Duke of Wellington. It takes its popular name from the toll charged to cross the Liffey i.e. one old half-penny, even though its official name nowadays is the Liffey Bridge.

The bridge was the only pedestrian bridge on the Liffey until the new Millenium Bridge further up was opened in 2000.

The bridge was closed in 2001 for major repair. It was reopened, with its original paint colour restored and changes made at the ends to allow standing room for pedestrians before crossing the road.

Wellington Monument

Wellington Testimonial

The Wellington Monument is named after the 'Iron Duke' Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, who was born in Dublin in 1769. It is located in the Phoenix Park, overlooking the River Liffey.

The monument was designed by Sir Robert Smirke in 1817 and is 205 feet tall. It is smaller than it was originally meant to be as the funding for building it ran out. It was finally finished in 1861, and is still the tallest obelisk in Europe.

Molly Malone

The statue of Molly Malone is found at the bottom of Grafton Street, on the southside of Dublin City. It was designed by artist Jeanne Rynhart and erected in 1988 to celebrate Dublin's first millennium.

The statue is based on the song 'Molly Malone', which is also known as 'Cockles and mussels'. It tells the tale of a beautiful fishmonger who sells fish from a cart up and down the streets of Dublin. Sadly, she "dies of a fever, and no one could save her, and that was the end of sweet Molly Malone".

The song is now sung at many Irish sporting events and is an anthem to supporters of the Dublin Gaelic Football and Hurling teams.

The Spire

There was an architectural competition to decide what kind of monument to build as a replacement for
Nelson's Pillar, which was blown up in 1966. After much debate, the Dublin Spire was chosen.

It was erected between December 2002 and January 2003 outside the GPO on O'Connell Street. It is 120 metres tall, making it by far the tallest structure in Dublin City.

The Spire is 3 metres wide at its base and narrows to just 15 centimetres at the top. It cost roughly €4 million to build.

O'Connell Monument

The monument of Daniel O'Connell is located at one end of what used to be Sackville Street. This street was renamed O'Connell Street in his honour, in the early 20th century.

O'Connell was Ireland's main political leader for much of the early 19th Century. His work led to greater powers and opportunities for Ireland's Catholic population.

His statue was made by the sculptor John Henry Foley and has four angels at its base. These represent the four provinces of Ireland.