Bank of Ireland 19th century building on College Green at night.

Bank of Ireland

Grafton Street & St Stephen's Green

A sweeping Palladian pile occupying one side of College Green, this magnificent building was the Irish Parliament House until 1801 and was the first purpose-built parliament building in the world. The original building – the central colonnaded section that distinguishes the present-day structure – was designed by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce in 1729 and completed by James Gandon in 1733.

When the parliament voted itself out of existence through the 1801 Act of Union, the building was sold under the condition that the interior would be altered to prevent it ever again being used as a debating chamber. It was a spiteful strike at Irish parliamentary aspirations, but while the central House of Commons was remodelled and offers little hint of its former role, the smaller House of Lords (admission free) survived and is much more interesting. It has Irish oak woodwork, a mahogany longcase parliament clock and a late-18th-century Dublin crystal chandelier. Its design was copied for the construction of the original House of Representatives in Washington, DC, now the National Statuary Hall. The House of Lords is open to visitors during banking hours.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Grafton Street & St Stephen's Green attractions

2. Oliver Goldsmith Statue

0.05 MILES

Imposing statue of Anglo-Irish novelist and playwright Oliver Goldsmith (1728–74), who wrote The Vicar of Wakefield.

3. Front Gate

0.05 MILES

The main entrance to Trinity College was built in the 1870s to replace the 1759 original and was completely refurbished in 2014.

4. Edmund Burke Statue

0.05 MILES

This bronze statue of Anglo-Irish statesman and orator Edmund Burke (1729–97) was the work of sculptor John Henry Foley and erected in 1868. Burke…

5. Irish Whiskey Museum

0.06 MILES

If you’d like to learn a little more about one of Ireland’s most famous tipples, spend an hour here. You’ll find out why the Irish call it uisce beatha …

6. Chapel

0.09 MILES

Clockwise round Front Sq from the Front Gate, the first building is the chapel, built in 1798 to plans made in 1787 by the architect Sir William Chambers …

7. Icon Factory

0.09 MILES

This artists' collective in the heart of Temple Bar hosts exhibitions on Ireland’s cultural heritage. You’ll find colourful, unique souvenirs celebrating…

8. Molly Malone Statue

0.09 MILES

Dublin's most famous statue is that of fictional fishmonger (and lady of dubious morals) Molly Malone, she of the song alive, alive-o.