The O'Connell Street ( Irish Sráid Uí Chonaill ) is the main thoroughfare of the Irish capital Dublin . It is 420 meters long and an average of 49 meters wide. It was called Sackville Street until the early 1920s - until the Dublin Corporation renamed it in honor of Daniel O'Connell (a nationalist leader of the early 19th century). A statue of Daniel O'Connell sits on the median at the south end of the road, looking out over the River Liffey . The street is in the northern part of Dublin.
The street originated in a 17th century street called Drogheda Street . Built by Henry Moore, Earl of Drogheda , it was only about a third as wide as it is today and led from the current north end to the current intersection with Abbey Street . In the 1740s, wealthy banker and real estate speculator Luke Gardiner acquired the northern portion of Drogheda Street (up to Henry Street ) as part of a much larger real estate business . He tore down the west side of Drogheda Street and built an exclusive block of flats nearly 50 meters wide. The new, more orderly western part of the street now housed smaller houses, intended for merchants. On the other hand, there were larger buildings on the east side - the largest had been rented by the Earl of Drogheda himself from Gardiner. Gardiner also built a shopping center about the middle section of the street - decorated with low granite walls with obelisks on them and oil lamps. A few years later the first trees were planted on the road. Gardiner named this new part Sackville Street , also known as Sackvill Mall or Gardiner's Mall - or simply for most people: The Mall . Gardiner always intended to continue the road to the Liffey, but he died in the early 1750s and his son took over his property.
It was not until 1777 that the city's planning authority (the Wide Streets Commission ) received a subsidy from Parliament to implement Gardiner's plan. Over the next 10 to 15 years, countless homes and other buildings were demolished so that the extension of the street could be built. After its completion between 1785 and 1790, it was one of the most splendid European streets - if not the most splendid of its time. The road's success was crowned by the completion of the 'Carlisle Bridge' - today O'Connell Bridge , designed by James Gandon in 1793 for pedestrians and then in 1795 for other traffic as well.
The street itself was mainly lined with Georgian and Victorian buildings until the early 20th century . But the Easter Rising in 1916, when a group of Irish Volunteers , the main post office ( General Post Office - GPO) occupy and proclaimed the Irish Republic, led to the bombing of the road through artillery . Much of the street was destroyed - including the entire east side up to Cathedral Street and the western row of houses between the post office and Abbey Street . Fortunately, the newly rebuilt buildings were hardly damaged during the Irish Civil War (1922/1923) that followed. The damage was mainly limited to the northern part of the street with the row of houses north of Cathedral Street to Parnell Square and some buildings on the northwest side of the street. As a result, there is only one Georgian townhouse on the street today, although there are other Georgian buildings on the corner of Henry Street and there are still some buildings behind Victorian facades at the south end of the street. The main post office itself was destroyed in 1916 and only rebuilt between 1924 and 1929.
Today, most of the buildings along the street date from the 1920s and 1930s. In addition to the main post office, the most famous buildings are the Gresham Hotel (completed in 1927), the Royal Dublin Hotel (1963) and the Clerys department store (reopened in 1922). Due to poor planning in the 70s and 80s, cheap shops and burger chains opened here. After a few decades of neglect, the street is now experiencing a kind of renaissance - among other things with the 120 meter high Spire of Dublin built in January 2003 .
Dubliners, known for nicknames all sorts of monuments, also call O'Connell Street the street of the Three Adulturers . The name refers to the allegations of adultery made against the three main characters of the street (Parnell, Nelson and O'Connell).
Statues along the road (south to north)
- The statue of Daniel O'Connell - the driving force in Ireland's politics from the late 1820s until his death in 1847; today's namesake of the street. Built from 1864 to 1883 by John Foley.
- The statue of William Smith O'Brien , politician.
- The statue of Sir John Gray.
- The statue of James Larkin - the leader of the 1913 Dublin general strike.
- The statue of Father Theobald Mathew (1790–1856) - a pioneer of the movement for alcohol abstinence.
- The Spire of Dublin . (Previously was at this point the Nelson column ( Nelson's Pillar ), which was blown up in 1966 by the IRA with a bomb.)
- The statue of Charles Stewart Parnell , a political leader in Ireland in the late 19th century.
- The main post office (GPO)
- O'Connell Bridge at the south end of the street
- The Prokathedrale St. Mary's (in Marlborough Street, a side street): the 'de facto Catholic cathedral' of Dublin, even though she has never received official status of a cathedral.
- The Clery’s department store
- The Gresham Hotel
- See section "Footprint": "..., while the 420-meter pier is the same length as Dublin's O'Connell Street."
This text is based on a translation of the article O'Connell Street from the English Wikipedia, version of May 18, 2005.