The Phoenix Park is located near Dublin City Centre; it is over 700 hectares, which makes it the biggest park in the whole of Europe!
The Park was originally established as a Royal deer park in the 17th century and is the home to pheasants and hundreds of wild Fallow Deer making it necessary to enclose the entire area with a wall.
It is also the home to the most famous tourist attraction in Ireland, Dublin Zoo! Thousands of family’s visit the zoo each year to view more than 700 animals and tropical birds from around the world. It was opened in 1841 making it the third oldest zoo in the world.
A beautiful area in the Phoenix park to visit is the Victorian People's Flower Gardens which are located between the Parkgate Street entrance, and the North Circular Road Gate. They comprise of an area of 9 hectares (22 acres) and were laid out and enclosed in 1864. The gardens were originally established in 1840 as the Promenade Grounds. They provide an opportunity to demonstrate Victorian horticulture at its best. A large ornamental lake, children's playground, picnic areas and Victorian bedding schemes are just some of the attractions.
Important Monuments are located in the park including The “Wellington Monument”, the tallest obelisk in Europe at 62 meters tall. It was designed by Robert Smirke as a testimonial to Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, who is reputed to have been born in Dublin. The "Phoenix Column", a Corinthian column carved from Portland Stone located centrally on Chesterfield Avenue, the main thoroughfare of the Park and the “Papal Cross”, a 35 meter cross which was erected for the visit of Pope John Paul II on 29 September 1979
Many buildings are located in the Phoenix Park such as Aras an Uachtarain, the home of the President of Ireland, the headquarters of the Irish National Police Force, the Garda Siochana and Farmleigh, an estate of 78 acres situated to the north-west of the Park.
The park also has it’s very own Fort!, known as “Magazine Fort” it was built in 1735 and can be found in the south-eastern part of the park, close by a wooded ridge. It has a commanding view of the surrounding area. The magazine fort seems to serve no useful purpose,
A café, tearooms and ice cream kiosks are also located in the park so you can stop off for some refreshments on your exploration of the Phoenix Park.