Travelling down the centre of the city and saturated in the energy and vibrancy of Irish culture, O’Connell Street is the main road and primary hub of Dublin. It runs 500 metres long from O’Connell Bridge to Dublin Castle and has been the heart of the city for hundreds of years, evident from the historic buildings that line it. The area has various attractions, including shops, pubs and cultural landmarks, but history is the most prominent feature of O’Connell Street as it has been the central location for many important Dublin stories.
The most significant landmark of O’Connell Street is the General Post Office, occupied by Irish rebels in 1916 and partially destroyed during the Easter Rising, and is now the headquarters of the Irish Post and home to the AN Post Museum. Visitors can see many statues along the road, including one of Daniel O’Connell, the 19th Century nationalist leader who the street is named after, in addition to other prominent national figures. The Spire of Dublin on O’Connell Street is the tallest piece of public art in the world, erected in January 2003 to fill the site of the former Nelson's Pillar, which Republican activists destroyed in 1966. Visitors can also explore St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Trinity College and Parliament House, all of which are nearby, Irish landmarks.
For international visitors, the nearest airport to O’Connell Street is in greater Dublin and from here, there are various buses and trains to the city centre. Major bus routes travel through the city and up O’Connell Street, making it very easy to find, but there are also tour buses that offer a more informed journey through the centre. Dublin has many links to the rest of Ireland and Europe from its central train station.
The origins of O’Connell Street date back to the 17th Century, when it was a small narrow road called Drogheda before extending into a wide thoroughfare and becoming one of the finest streets in Europe by the 20th Century. For years, the name of the road was Sackville Street, until it gained its current title in 1924. It has had a prominent role in modern Irish history, as the gathering place of the 1913 Dublin Lockouts and the centre of the 1916 Easter Rising, making O’Connell Street the central political hub it still is today.