Pictured here is the original Irish Houses of Parliament in College Green, Central Dublin. The building is more commonly known today as the Bank of Ireland, as the bank now runs one of its most iconic branches from here.
Construction on the complex began in February 1729 to the designs of the architect Edward Lovett Pearce. It was the worlds first ever purpose built two chamber parliament house. The design of the building was revolutionary in Dublin, and occupied nearly one and a half acres. The entrance we see in this picture is the principal entrance featuring Ionic columns, and above the portico three statues representing Hibernia, Fidelity and Commerce. The royal coat of arms are cut into the stone in the portico.
The architect Pearce died young, and the famous architect of so many of Dublin's landmarks; James Gandon provided the designs for extensions. 1789 saw the completion of a new entrance at Westmoreland street. To mark this as a different entrance, the peers who used this new entrance way asked for the new portico to feature Corinthian columns, which can be seen still today. This portico is topped with statues of Fortitude, Justice and Liberty.
The original designs by Pearce were considered revolutionary, and this could be seen in the places where aspects of its design were copied. The British Museum in London copied the columned main entrance seen here for its own front façade, while the US Capitol in Washington DC copied aspects of this Dublin landmark.
In 1800, the abolition of the Irish Parliament, and the creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland saw the country lose its own parliament, and governance of the country move to London. This move had a dramatic effect on the entire city of Dublin, but it also meant that this fine structure could no longer serve its original purpose.
In 1803 it was bought by the then young bank; Bank of Ireland. They paid 40,000 pounds to the British government with one caveat. It was insisted that the building must be adapted for use by the bank in such a way that it could never be used as a parliament again.
In recent years, there have been many suggestions that the building should come back into public ownership, with some of these including as an art gallery, as an office for Dublin's Mayor, as a parliament building, or as a cultural venue.
To date, all of these ideas have met with resistance from the bank who own it. This is annoying to many people who regard the handing over of the building to the Irish people as being appropriate, seeing as the Irish tax payers footed the bill for baling the bank out in the Irish Banking crisis.
Its position in the city overlooking College Green, and across the road from Trinity College has made it one of Dublin's most highly regarded buildings. Visible here is just one of its three main entrances, and not visible in this shot are the other two great porticos, and the huge semi circular granite wall which links the College Green and Westmoreland street entrances.
Thanks for looking!
Critiques | Translate
serp2000 (44177) 2013-07-15 12:21
Have you got also Not Original Irish Parliament House? ;)
Attractive symmetry, I like this Greek-Roman style in architecture, today we can see similar buildings everywhere in the world. Perfect sharpness, good contrast of the blue clear sky& these grey columns and the walls.
Kugart (1778) 2013-07-15 13:41
Great shot of this wonderful building of the Bank of Ireland. Great lighting shot against a beautiful blue summer sky. Very informative note didn't know this was formerly the original Irish Parliament House. Nice work.
Haven't been critiquing for a few days as I am in Portugal and just managed to get a connection on IPad tonight.
All the best
Royaldevon (38776) 2013-07-15 13:46
There are many people who have grievances with the banks because of their irresponsible behaviour! Who knows!!
This really is a very majestic, classical building which benefits from having a symmetrical composition. The exposure is nice and sharp. How lovely it is to have such lovely weather so that you have this azure sky against which to show off the statues.
(I'm not quite sure what has happened in the sky but there appears to be sort of secondary images of the statues.)
My warm regards,
carlo62 (48205) 2013-07-15 15:08
i grando classici fanno sempre la loro bella figura, come questo colonnato, semplice ed elegante, come si addice all'austerità del luogo.
Ottima foto, ben centrata e con una bella luce.
jcpix (13930) 2013-07-15 16:51
Please tell me I've seen this before? I seem to remember a black & white shot of this bank, and I've gone back through your gallery...but I'll be a monkey's uncle if I can find it!?
Just like a bank not to cooperate, yeah? :) Very interesting read on this one, your notes add so much to the visual...things I probably wouldn't have noticed otherwise. Sure looks like that weather monster got chased away...that solid, bright blue sky is a delightful color contrast that makes the duller grey tones from the building take on new life.
Good idea to step back and allow for the "wings" to jet out on both sides of the frame, giving the composition a bit more of a geometric punch. As Bev mentioned, there does appear to be a duplication of ghostie images around the statues up top...does this place hold a secret haunting we don't know about?? File size compression I'm sure, but wouldn't that be more fun...and I know you'd be all over it! :) Take it easy.
Friendly regards from Phoenix,
jjcordier (79297) 2013-07-15 23:24
Bonne photo de ce bâtiment à l'architecture grecque assez étonnante.
bukitgolfb301 (41820) 2013-07-16 0:47
Hi dear Noel
Your siginitured image at all.
Sharp and clear image in perfect synmetry as usual.
Vivid color contrast is marvelous.
Thanks a lot and have a good start of new week, Takero
krzychu30 (15512) 2013-07-16 0:47
beautiful and very stylish building.Sad,like you wrote it does not serve people,who bailed the bank out in the banking crisis.
The architecture is really impressive,the more sad to look only the bankers can enjoy its beauty.
Your presentation is superb!Perfect symmetry and blue sky make the shot spectacular.
Have a nice day
kordinator (20519) 2013-07-16 1:09
Beautiful presentation and a text-and image of this beautiful building in Dublin.
I really like the details that are clear and clean.
snunney (98944) 2013-07-16 2:50
A fine symmetrical composition featuring this splendid classical architecture. The image is well exposed allowing us to appreciate the detail in the shadow areas. Banks always seem to occupy the best buildings:-)
Miguel82 (27646) 2013-07-16 3:12
Yes Noel, I know excatly where is that monument Noel,
I've taken pictures of it, I remember some common french boy insults me when I was in front of that building..won't say more..
Good exposition, fine colors and sharpness
mirosu (16227) 2013-07-16 3:25
It is amazing what a difference good lighting can make to photograph. The building is in excellent soft light. Excellent composition with pillars and the statue, walking people and excellent contrast against blue sky makes this photo very good. The tight crop eliminates distractions and create more attractive image. So wonderfully framed, I like the symmetrical composition. Well done. Greetings, Miro
bona (13737) 2013-07-16 8:38
The many pretty photos you show from Irland make me want visit this country. Another great picture showing this pretty Parliament House with the giant columns. How many days do you think is nescessary to visit Dublin?
Thanks for the great note too.
marabu61 (10949) 2013-07-16 23:57
I can quite understand the resentiment that many people may have against the banks and this stately building certainly has an allure of grandness in it that fits the banks behavioss.
It certainly would have a better use as a public building, especially as it is located very central in Dublin as far as I recollect.
have a great day
delpeoples (58030) 2013-07-17 0:32
Ahhh so this is where the Irish version of the Ship of Fools used to anchor its boat! And now a Ship of Thieves (the banks) occupy it! An impressive and beautiful building that's way too lovely to house such a motley crew. Having read about the recent antics of TD Tom Barry in Parliament, it's really difficult not to be a cynic. So your post is very timely :)
A sensational wide angle shot, with spot-on perspective and again a wonderful blue sky that sets off the stonework so well. The OCD person living in my brain has a small issue with the cut off legs of the 2 ladies in the foreground, but it's hard to get everything in the frame.
Excellent sharpness, depth and perspective. And your note as always is a winner.
Sonata11 (33795) 2013-07-17 19:47
wonderful composition of Irish Parliament House architecture and daily life scene. Fantastic photo job. Colors, sharpness, clarity, POV are magnificent. I like it. Perfectly well done. Tfs.
ourania (45366) 2013-07-18 11:04
tonight we get to exchange opinions on our Parliament buildings:) It's amazing and ironic that your former Parliament building now hosts a bank. I could be very sarcastic about what goes on in our building but don't think there's need for that, our news reach you every day. I like very much the graphic aspect you gave to this classic and elegant architecture using the play of light and shadow as well as the chromatic contrast in an accentuated way. The people break the graphism in a discreet and agreeable way. Congratulations and thank you! Thank you also for your kind words, I know you understand more than most people do.
All the best, have a lovely evening,
berek (50494) 2014-04-24 23:14
impressive historical architecture here. you took this picture right point of view. i love clear weather and your composition. thanks for your note.